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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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Where do I start ?

  • Camelia
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04 Nov 07 #5880 by Camelia
Topic started by Camelia
Im 41 and my husband is 44 and he left our home last weekend after yet another row about his social habits coming before our kids. We have been married for 21 years, have 3 kids, 19, 17 (17r old is not working or at college but looking for work so I am supporting him) and 9, the eldest is in the army but comes home at weekends as he is undergoing his engineering training.

I don't even know where to start to be honest, he is continuing to support me and the kids financially paying and I work as well part time but wondering if I should go up to full time...I also have a disability and a number of health issues.

Although we hadn't been getting on too well I hoped we could look at the issues and see what we could put right but he doesn't want to know and has removed himself from any responsibilities. He has moved in with his aunt for the time being, paying no rent and supplying his own food. He didn't even want me telling the council tax office he was no longer living in the home as it would affect his aunt's single person discount.

Everything has to be on his terms and I am worried I am going to get bullied out of the house. We share a car as he has access to a work van but takes the car if I am not using it...Ive asked him to sell it, it is in his name but he is refusing as its his pride and joy.

The house is mortgaged on a relatively low 63k, equity is around 160 - 170k, so a fair bit but I just don't know what to do first. He is paying me £350 a week to cover all the bills and child support costs, which is not an unreasonable sum of money at all, and I earn about 1000 per month so I should be ok but I know that when he wants to rent a flat of his own, he will probably withdraw this money to some extent. This goes into our joint account as all the bills are paid from it, and the money paid is also covering his credit card repayments, a couple of unsecured loans and his mobile phone bill. How long is he required to support our daughter and make payments etc ?

I havent taken legal advice yet although I will, but wondered if anyone can give me any guidance at all.

  • DownButNotOut
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05 Nov 07 #5900 by DownButNotOut
Reply from DownButNotOut
Welcome to the site, it will take you some time to accumulate all the info you need...so stick around.

But to get you started here are some initial thoughts...

- the UK courts place great emphasis on maintaining normality as far as poss for the kids. This usually means the main carer (parent with care) keeping the home. This is sometimes not possible where the home has a very large mortgage that the PWC cannot afford to take on. However in your case the mortgage seems manageable so if the kids stay with you .... you will almost certainly be allowed to keep the home til the youngest is 18.

- but the court also tries to provide for his needs. SO the question is how can the court make funds available for him to start again (deposit on a flat) when you keep the home. The court will look at how much money you could release from the home now by taking out a bigger mortgage(based on your income, i.e. your salary plus benefits plus maintenance from him).

- because he earns more than you and you care for the kids you may well get more than 50% share of the house, lets say 65%.

- so you need to give him 35% of the equity, lets say 60k. You could increase mortgage by 20k, so he can take 20k now and give him the other 40k when youngest is 18 and you can sell the house. He will likely argue that in a few years oldest 2 will have left home so you can sell at that point and move into smaller place with youngest, and give him the 40k sooner.

- he should be paying you 20% of his income in child support (this is standard CSA percentage for two kids)
i don't think you will receive anything for eldest if he is earning income from army. You receive this amount until middle child is 19/leaves college, then it drops to 15% for the youngest child til they reach 19.

- if he earns more than 2 or 3 times your income (your earnings plus benefits) then it is also possible to claim spousal maintenance for a few years (perhaps til eldest two leave home), this could be an extra 10% of his income.

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