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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.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.

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spousal maintenance

  • spooky
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03 Jul 12 #340954 by spooky
Topic started by spooky
One for you legal beagles.

My ex husband is saying that he is going to reduce his working hours therefore his salary by half in order to reduce his SM commitment (joint lives) to a nominal £1 per month.

He is a high earner (100k+)

He has sent me a letter full of calculations, tax projections etc that do not make any sense! He has conveniently calculated his income (after his tax bill to be slightly less than mine)

He tried to do this 3 years ago but the Court would not accept this.

Would a Judge say that he should continue working full time until his maintenance obligations are met?

I proposed that the SM should be reviewed once the children had completed their education and did not require housing or financial support.

Do the Courts take into account his tax obligations from the previous financial year that he says he hasn''t paid?

He is 47 but says that he is stressed. He claims to be working 70 hrs a week but his working week is 4 days.

Any advice will be gratefully received.

  • Action
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04 Jul 12 #340970 by Action
Reply from Action
I was told by my Mediator that any judge would take a very dim view of this ''disappearing income syndrome''. My ex tried to baffle me with spreadsheets etc. which manipulated finances to be in his favour. It is so very sickening when someone you once worked as a team with can suddenly become so cold and calculating for financial gain.

Tell him he needs to be fair about his ''earning potential'' not just what he chooses to earn at the moment in order to fleece you.

  • revenge
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04 Jul 12 #340973 by revenge
Reply from revenge
My husband earns about 120k, I haven''t worked for about 8 years, when I did it was a few hours for a bit of pocket money. My husband has now split the finances into our separate bank accounts. He has always paid the mortgage and the bills he is now saying that I have to pay all the bills out of the share he has given me and he will pay 50% of the mortgage. He left over a year ago and lives with ow in a small house which he says he doesn''t contribute financially therefore my outgoings are larger then his. If I keep paying everything out of my share eventually there will be nothing left for me, while his funds keep rising as they are both earning. I suppose what I really need to know is if I would get sm, married 22years me 52 him 45 no children. I was hoping I could get it for at least 8 years to take me up to 60 then I could get my pension. I know my husband will not want to agree to sm as he has never mentioned it to me. My solicitor says I might be awarded it but now the courts try to get x spouses to stand on their own two feet financially. Neither of has filed for divorce yet but I have spoken to a solicitor about it so that will be the next step for me.

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04 Jul 12 #341010 by Action
Reply from Action
So, have you had any say in how your marital assets might be split or is your husband making the decisions about your future financial security unilaterally?

Have you sat down and worked out what you need to live off? I found it useful to do a monthly expenses schedule (I can send you an electronic version if you PM me your email address).

Your solicitor is correct I think that you would be expected to seek employment to support yourself but, given you age, the economic climate, and the fact that you have been out of employment for so long you''re not going to find this easy. I was in a similar position (at 55) as my self employed business was struggling so I did apply for any job that I could, within reason, and got nowhere but at least I did try.

Have you been to mediation? It sounds as if you really do need to have better financial disclosure between the two of you so that someone can advise how things should be split. Could you suggest that you each voluntarily fill in form E? Pensions etc. also need to be taken into account.

How are you going to formalise the financial arrangements? I don''t think a judge would approve a Consent Order where one party is disadvantaged, especially when your husband''s housing needs are being met already.

I forgot to answer you previous query re tax liabilities. I believe that this would be taken into account as a liability that your husband has to pay, and therefore be deducted from his other assets.

I''m not sure if you still have children at home and if you could sell the FMH and downsize - maybe get somewhere mortgage free.

In essence I think you need to find the strength to be more pro-active in sorting out a fair settlement. There is so much information and help on here so try not to think that you are facing it alone.

You need to think about your financial security for the rest of your life. They are YOUR shared marital assets and presumably you have contributed to married and family life in other ways than being the bread winner?

My reaction to my ex husband''s stream of nonsense spreadsheets was to repeatedly refer him back the the Marital Clauses Act (on how assets are split). If you don''t have disclosure and absolutely transparent information about his earnings, savings and pensions then of course you''ll not understand his spreadsheets which he can manipulate to say whatever he wants.

Sorry, i feel very angry on your behalf. I''m not a man hater but I do hate to see women in this situation. Try and get yourself into the driving seat fast.

Go girl go. Big hugs

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04 Jul 12 #341020 by Action
Reply from Action
Whoops - too much burning the candle at both ends as I seem to have morphed Revenge and Spooky into the same person!

I am so sorry but please take what each of you want from my previous garbled response.

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