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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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Help / advice please

  • metalingus
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26 Nov 07 #7705 by metalingus
Topic started by metalingus
Hello all,

My first time here.

My marriage is / has come to an end and i've been considering moving out and renting somewhere to live.

Wife will stay in matrimonial home with our 4 children. It is owned outright and there is no mortgage.

She's indicated to me that i'll be taken to the cleaners financially and might not even have enough money to live on myself, so i am loathe to move out and rent a place only to find i get walloped for cash in the future and end up being unable to afford it.

Wife doesnt work - i am the sole financial earner, with a yearly wage of £50k. Does anyone have a rough idea of how much i'll have to pay her each month once i leave, in terms of money for her and the kids?

The plan is for me to have the kids most weekends and take them to school each morning, and maybe once or twice a week to mine for evening meals and do their homework etc.

Taking into account i need to rent a place that can accommodate me and 4 kids, i'm scared to commit to a rental agreement only for my wife to go back on our initial arrangment and ask me for more money, which i wont be able to afford.

Can anyone out there offer me any kind of assistance?

Grateful for all responses. Many thanks.

  • mike62
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26 Nov 07 #7714 by mike62
Reply from mike62
No expert metalingus, but if it is at all practical, don't move out just yet. You give up all kinds of rights in doing that. Saying that, if things get truly awful, sometimes your sanity is worth more to you.

As to splits of assets etc, you need to post some more info for a more experienced eagle eye to take a view.

House value
Any other investments
Age of children - do any work full time
Length of marriages
Any pensions (you or wife)

You are looking at 25% of your nett income (after tax and NI)as child maintenance, plus if your wife hasn't worked, she may seek spousual maintenance to assist her in moving back into the workplace whilst being the primary carer for the children. That can sometimes be negotiated away with a bigger split of assets.

Starting point is 50:50, but I would guess with the children and a non-working wife that you would be looking at more like 70:30.

Hope this is of help. Post some more info and a more experienced boarder will give you a much better idea than I can.

Best of luck, and welcome to Wikivorce!


  • metalingus
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26 Nov 07 #7718 by metalingus
Reply from metalingus
Many thanks Mike. I'm really loathe to move out, but she's very abusive towards me and sank to an all time low last week by calling me a paedophile, so i don't want to hang around too long. It's got to the point where i have a knotted stomach driving home from work and my wellbeing is suffering as a result, not to mention i don't want my children listening to any of her bilious remarks.

Market value of house is £280,000
No other investments
All children under 8yrs of age
I have a company pension that i pay into each month via my salary.
Pay also for kids BUPA fees.
We've been married for 7 years.

Cheers again for the advice and response.

  • mike62
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26 Nov 07 #7722 by mike62
Reply from mike62
Metalingus, from CSA guidelines on child maintenance:

If a child stays overnight with the non-resident parent for at least 52 nights a year, we will reduce the child maintenance due to the parent with care of that child as follows.

52 to 103 nights per year: 1/7
104 to 155 nights per year: 2/7
156 to 174 nights per year: 3/7
175 or more nights per year: Half, and then reduce it again by a further £7 a week

Your proposal for some shared care should reduce your commitment a little. However, these are CSA figures. Some parents opt to pay over CSA rates, whilst others enter into private agreements with their former spouses, to suit their own individual circumstances.

Another consideration is whether your wife would be able to buy you out of the house. if not, she could seek an order to keep the house until the eldest child is 18 years or leaves full time education. You would still have your % interest in it, but would be unable to realize the asset until either she re-marries, co-habits or the eldest child is 19 years.

Sorry to be Mr Doom and Gloom, but forewarned is forearmed.

Take care


  • metalingus
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26 Nov 07 #7723 by metalingus
Reply from metalingus
Many thanks for your kind responses Mike.

At least know i now where i stand a bit better.


  • attilladahun
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26 Nov 07 #7756 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
I agree with the advice it would not at this stage be wise to leave the home yet.

What I am not tales is the ages of the relevant children of the family.

You must appreciate the valuable asset tax credits amount to and to obtain these all your wife has to do is to work a very modest 16 hours per week. The real benefit is that in the calculation the actual CSA payments or voluntary payments you make in the CSA will not be taken into account.

Accordingly, it is not difficult for a wife even earning minimum wage to get between £1300 and £ £1400 per month income and I suspect in your case because you have more children she will actually get more than that.

The importance of that is that it means that she can truly afford to live and run a property.

Now, if you think about it and the only payment you have to pay is for the children rather than mortgage payments for her and maintenance for your wife the whole case takes on a different slant.

The court will consider a reasonable alternative accommodation is relevant to both parties especially with four children pursuant overnight stay in contact.

The difficulty here is we do not know what reason alternative accommodation in your area will cost and that is a very important feature. If accommodation can only be obtained at approximately the price of your existing property one has to look at other possible alternatives of obtaining accommodation mainly can one acquire shared equity property in your area. This could enable either party to obtain a large enough property but in the purchase say 50% whilst renting the other half.

The court will look at all the factors set out in section 25 of the matrimonial causes act 1973 mortgage ability is a very important factor. Your income is a great deal larger than your wife's, however, you will be able to borrow quite a large sum of money on , if necessary, a self certification basis. Indeed, you may have to consider an interest only mortgage. Indeed, this may also be something your wife will have to consider is the priority is to provide reasonable alternative accommodation for both of you.

Because there is large equity in your property one approach the court may have used to say that your wife could raise a sum by way of lump sum which you can then use as a deposit to purchase a property with a large mortgage. She would then have the property transferred into her sole name and if it turns out you should get more than that by way of settlement the balance of your claim can be expressed as a charge on her property not to be enforced during the minority of the children or say complete full-time tertiary educationor or she dies, remarries or permanently cohabits with a waged person. Some courts require permission of the court before any house is sold if there is a child under 18 or in full-time education.

As Metalingus correctly states if you have generous overnight stay in contact this will be reflected in the discount you get from the standard CSA calculation.

Hope this helps

  • LittleMrMike
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26 Nov 07 #7761 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Oh dear. I do hate spouses who use matters like child contact ( or denial of it ) and ancillary relief as a way of getting their own back on their ex or x2b. And bloody-mindedness and greed are not the exclusive preserve of either sex.

I would, first of all, try to avoid letting yourself get too upset by your wife's threats to ' take you to the cleaners '. Quite simply, this won't happen. The Courts have to consider both of you, and your needs. The first consideration is the welfare of your four young children. That means that they need a roof over their head while they are still dependent.

This, as my namesake has told you, is likely to mean, at the very least, that your wife will be allowed to live there until the youngest is 18. I would say that the probability is that the house would then be sold and the proceeds divided. It is even possible that she could be allowed to live there even longer ; but I would think this is unlikely ; this type of order is not appropriate where the property is surplus to your wife's needs as a single person. I would ask your solicitor as to what the likely split might be, I can't see it being less than 50% and it might be more.

Quite honestly, I don't think a Court would expect your wife to get a job with four young children. As a starting point you have to pay child support, and may I refer you to the CSA website for a calculator which you can use to work out your possible liability. Whatever it is, it will be a first charge on your income. I think your wife will get spousal maintenance on top of the child support. How much this is, is a matter on which I would ask your solicitor for advice. Some posters on this site think the yardstick is 33% of your net income, including child maintenance. Frankly, I don't know, and certainly some posters on the site are paying more than that. I don't honestly think that people have a right to expect much more than general guidance on a site like this.

You didn't mention pensions. I am afraid your wife is likely to claim a share, if you have one. In a case like this the wife will often trade off long term requirements in favour of immediate needs. You might even keep your pension intact ; this might not seem much now, but when you get to my age, believe me, it does.

I know it is difficult, but I would try and remain objective. The Court is not out to cripple you financially.They will never leave you with insufficient money to live on. I know several posters on this site who came out with a settlement far better than they had hoped for, and more than I expected them to get. But do see your solicitor, and perhaps you might read a section on this website about how to save yourself legal costs.

Good luck
Mike 100468

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