Hi there, no doubt like all people visiting these sites I have searched the web for information, sought legal advice and am still not sure what I entitled to.
My husband has left me after 6 years of marriage and we have a child aged 4. His earnings are £26K plus company car (if this makes any difference) and I work part-time and earn £7800. I gave up full time work upon our child's birth to care for the child. My husband has offered me 70:30 split on the equity in the house. The house is up for sale as I cannot afford to take on the mortgage on my own. He has also offered £250 month maintenance. This appears fair but I am a bit of a softie and do not want to get fleeced! Also, what is spousal maintenance?
Also, does it make any difference that when we first met I had my own home and the deposit from the sale of this (albeit quite small) was used to buy a home together. So in reality he has never had to pay the deposit on a home or set up a home.
Thanks for your questions - we will try to be as 'straight' as we can
On 26k per year his net income will be around 1600.
Your child maintenance entitlement is 15% of net income which is 240 - so that sounds about right.
The normal basis for the capital split is 50:50.
However, as you are the parent with care and gave up your job to have the baby, then you are entitled to additional 'compensation'.
This can be in the form of a greater share of the assets (like the 70% you are being offered)
or it can be spousal maintenace which is a monthly payment for a limited (or in some cases unlimited time) from the higher earner to the lower earner.
You would have a pretty good claim for an extra few hundred pounds a month (on top of child maintenance) or so from him in spousal maintenace, at least until you are back into full time work.
You dont say how much equity is in the house so i have no idea how much you gain by taking 70% vs just 50%.
I suspect the offer from your husband is intended as
a Clean Break. i.e. you get 70% in return for not claiming spousal maintenance. You should consult a solicitor to get a view on whether the extra 20% share of equity makes up for foregoing your right to spousal maintenance.
With such a young child you may be able to get the 70:30 share in your favour AND some element of spousal maintenance so you are right to be wary of being too much of a softy.<br /><br />Post edited by: wikivorce team, at: 2007/04/17 08:34
Thanks for your advice. The equity in the house is approximately £100,000 so I have fought for the 70:30 split to enable me to use this money £70,000 together with a mortgage to provide my child and I with a house that would meet our needs.
Can child maintenance payments be increased at any time. I.e. if I accept the £250 month does it ever go up on down dependant on his earnings and inflation. (His current job situation is such that his earnings may increase by approx £6000 in under a years time).
Ok so you are being offered 20k extra (70 instead of 50). If this is for a clean break then you need to judge whether this 20k makes up for getting no spousal maintenance which could be a few hundred extra pounds a month for a number years until you are financially independent. You might wish to discuss with a solicitor or you husband what level of spousal maintenace might be appropriate in your case.
Can child maintenance payments be increased?
It is possible but depends on what agreement the maintenance payments are made under.
If you are going to agree a Consent Order then you should ensure that an increase is built into the wording of the order.
If you go to our Top Rated Divorce Sites section you can find a link to the CSA website.
On the CSA websites it states:
"If things change after your maintenance has been worked out you should notify us as soon as possible by phone, e-mail or letter.
If you are unsure if the change will affect your maintenance payments you should call us for advice.
If we change the amount payable, the new amount of child maintenance usually starts from the week the change was asked for."