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Wife stay in over-large house

  • JLGsDad
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24 Jun 07 #948 by JLGsDad
Topic started by JLGsDad
Hello All,
Wife of 9yrs came in on Friday and said she wanted divorce.:unsure:A sol has filled her head with how much power she has. Because of work commitments I probably won't be able to see a sol for at least 3 weeks. Can anyone help with some info (feel welcome to kick me in the direction of some info here, I just can't see it)?

Divorce is best thing in a way, 'unreasonable behaviour' does not do justice to her selfish and bullying behaviour over past 2 yrs (I wondered why her 1st husband spent all his spare time in the pub, now I know). I have endured for sake of my 3 boys (8, 8, 3), but the thought of not seeing them every day cracks me up.
She has seen sol, but because of work commitments I probably won't be able to see one for 3 weeks.

We quickly got onto money, but this showed up differences in outlook. Finances complicated by pending employment court case (her actions grrrrr..), but in broad terms £750k 5-bed house (London prices!?) with £60k mortgage & £90k to in-laws, £130k investments, 2 cars for £15k. I think we should divide 50/50 even though practically all money was mine before marriage & house price growth from that money. My view means sell house and buy 2 3-bed ones with money. She wants to have house as has sentimental importance to her and thinks that is fair for her to have it and me to be in bed-sit. She has threatened to move away if she doesn't get house.

We did discuss time with boys, but she wasn't happy with my 1 evening per week, alternate weekends and half holidays.

What chance is there that system will give her more than 50/50 and/or allow her to stay in house?
What chance is there that will allow her to move the kids away against my wishes & the interests of the children (good school, friends etc;)?
Any other practical info?

Best wishes,

  • DownButNotOut
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25 Jun 07 #954 by DownButNotOut
Reply from DownButNotOut

You have left out one vital piece of info in you summary and that is your respective earnings.

If you both earn similar amounts it leads to a very different outcome than if you are a high earner and she a housewife with low job prospects.

I am very happy to answer further postings if you want to provide this additional info.

But for now i will assume the worst case: i.e. you a high earner..her with much more modest earning capacity.

If that is the case then I am afraid that the divorce law in this country is very much in favour of the low earning parent with care (i assume from what you say that she is and will continue to be the primary carer for the kids).

In your favour - you have significant assets which should be enough to meet the housing needs of both parties. (those unfortunate enough to have far lower assets often see the bulk of what they do have go to the parent with care).

A key principal of law is that where there are enough assets they are divided 'fairly', and where there are not enough assets then fairness goes out of the window and 'needs' is the primary consideration.

Her sentimental feelings towards the house are pretty irrelevant. What is far more relevant is that the court would look to minimise the impact on the children, and one way that they can do this is to let them stay with their mum in the family home.

A court may view that she needs a 4 bed house for 3 kids. So a 5 bed one is not so extravagant.

Be aware that the court is also - wherever possible, supposed to also provide for a home for you which has enough accomodation to allow the kids to visit you - so not a bedsit, perhaps a 3 bed semi as you say.

If you were to take equal responsibility for the kids and do 50% of the care for them (called shared residency) then the asset split could go along the lines you mention..i.e. sell and get 2 x 3 beds houses.

If however your career means that is not practical then i could imagine a 60:40 or 70:30 split in her favour, with her being allowed to stay in the house and so you not getting your share of the value until it is sold when the youngest leaves school (another 13 years!!).

On your last question...there is not a lot that you can do if she chooses to move away. Someone else may have more first hand experience of this.

But just a thought...where is she suggesting that she move to? cos most places are a lot cheaper than London. So in fact she could buy a 4 bed home in most parts of UK for 375k. So this threat to move away could actually harm her case for more than 50% of the assets.

  • JLGsDad
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25 Jun 07 #979 by JLGsDad
Reply from JLGsDad
Thanks for the info DBNO.

Employment not simple (is anything?). When married 7(!)mths before first children born, me in RAF on £35k + pension and her pharmacy/training director on £44k+ + pension + car + health insurance + flat.

I changed careers, started on £30k and now on £60k + pension + RAF pension in payment of approx £4k net.

She did consultancy work working from home when elder boys born, say 2 yrs at £30k per year. She then took up diet groups franchise, starting at £30k moving up to £45k working evenings and weekends. Unfortunately she fell out with the franchisor through her own actions (but company were stupid and we have a court case for breach of contract) and diet groups are a dead end as none of the others will give her the time of day. For 18 mths she's done nothing but hobbies during the school day (allegedly any paid work would prejudice the court case, but apparently unpaid work such as cleaning the house or cooking the odd meal for me is also out) and I've had to work b....y hard to pay bills. Now she's picked up some project/consultancy work: I'm not sure what she's getting as she refuses to tell me, but I suspect it's about £25k-30k.
The future? Me, on about the same money. Her, part-time for another 5-6 yrs, then full-time starting at,say, 40k and quickly rising to £100k+ (she is adamant that without kids she would be easily on £100k-150k now, and I believe her).

While I think about it, the following gives an idea of where my wife is coming from. Although she lied to me at the time of her actions (can't say too much as company might be reading!), I stood by her when she started court action. Then, on several occasions when she wanted to give up I persuaded her to keep going. Now, £50k in legal expenses later (nice to have a husband who will back this spend and finance it!), we are now arguing how much wife should be given rather than who wins. Still a chance that we will need to go to court (£20k for 3 days) and lose. Broad prognosis is award costs + £70k-80k, but even then the company might not pay. So, big risk of being left with £70k loss. So, what would you say? Big thanks to me for supporting her and put any court award into pot? Seems fair as pot is left with any loss and all events were during marriage? Well, no thanks yet but my wife has said she is prepared to be generous and pay off the costs when she wins (no mention of excess of costs amount, as that is hers and not part of divorce as hasn't got award yet!) and is silent on what happens if she gets nothing from the company (£70k hit anyone?). Plus, it's all so obscene; costs in total for both sides are likely to be about £150k which would pay for a lot of homeless shelters or hospital operations.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

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