I have been married for six years to a member of the Royal Navy. We have been together for 12 years in total and brought our first house together 9 years ago. We have two children aged 3 and 6. Due to the difficult circumstances facing Service families I am now considering divorce;
Here is the information I think you will need to know to advise me:
Equity on house is approx £75k.
House, like previous two properties was bought on a joint mortgage. But my husband actually pays the mortgage and I pay for food, utilities etc.
I can't afford the £800 mortgage by myself.
I work part-time (was full time but it was not practical with my husband away when kids came along). I earn £11k approx
My husband earns £30k
I have debts of £10k in my name (credit cards, overdraft etc). Some of which incurred as husband not present to pay for things!!! This has been the cause ofmuch contention.
I originally assumed I would get a 50% split of any equity in the house but now I believe I might be entitled to more. I would have to rent as I could not afford a mortgage on my own.
I know I would also be entitled to a part of my husband's pension, which I can use as a trade-off if need be.
Any advice would be appreciated. I'm aware of the disclaimers on your site.
The law views a 50:50 split is a sensible starting point, but can veer away from that if there are good reasons.
If you are going to be the parent with care (main carer for the kids) post divorce it increases your outgoings and limits your income potential. On this basis a court may typically award you closer to 60% or even 70% of the house.
You would also have a claim against his pension and that could have significant value. Then, as you suggest you could trade your share of the pension against his 30 or 40% of the house.
In this way you could get 80% or more of the house depending on pension value. If you do go ahead then he will have to get his pension valued, by asking his pension provider for a CETV (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value).
Unless you ran up the debts recklessly (i.e assuming you spent the more on vaguely sensible things for you and the kids) then the debt is a joint debt, it does not matter whos name it is in. Equally though his debts are jointly yours also.
Again assuming you are PWC (parent with care) he would be liable for child maintenance at 20% of his net income, until kids finish secondary education.
As he earns more than you he may also be liable for spousal maintenance until you can return to full time work (for example until youngest is at school). This could be another 10 or 15% of his salary.
Of course this response is based on partial data, but it will hopefully give you some idea.