Is this fair? I know its long but I tried to put it down logically. Thanks for reading.
My STBX after lots of toing and froing theses past several months has made an offer to settle. Here’s some background and I would really appreciate any advice please:
Married 10 years, co-habited for 1 year prior to marriage
We have two children aged 7 and 5. We are all healthy.
I was asked to leave the house last June and I am living in a rented flat near the children and their school and the family home. A year or so before I left, we installed a new kitchen, utility, new furniture etc totaling 26k of which I no longer have the use of. I think she had planned the split a long time back. Things hadn’t been too good between us for a couple of years. We’re both very close to our children of course. Another factor is her mother and sister live close by and I feel like Daniel in the Lions Den. They don’t speak to me or see me anymore since the split. My parents are 3 hours away but very supportive.
I’m 40 she is 35. We both work for the NHS on shifts. She took time out during the early years of the children and now is back in full time work.
My pension CE is 86K hers is 40K. I paid into my pension for 4 years prior to meeting my wife. I would think that is slightly in my favour regarding pension sharing to a degree?
The family home is quite large with a big garden and both take a lot of upkeep. Three bedrooms plus an attic bedroom. Despite this she wants to remain in the house. I suggested we sell and that with an unequal split of assets we both should be able to get a smaller house each. After mortgage redemption the Equity in the marital home is 94K so if it ends up being sold then the equity would be 86K after sale costs.
I stopped paying half the mortgage after six months in my flat. Couldn’t afford to anymore.
I have the children to stay in my flat two nights per week plus daytimes when our shifts allow plus taking them to school/picking them up after school several times per week.
I’m paying child maintenance at statutory rates but no spousal maintenance as I can’t afford it.
I earn 40k gross. She earns 30k plus she gets the CM, tax credits and child benefit. We are both in the red each month as far as I can work out/budget calcs.
To move things along and on advice I filled out and sent her solicitor a completed form E as a friendly way to share financial disclosure along with all the statements of Income, Assets and Liabilities (it took a full day) Form E is easy to read shared information. Expecting her to do the same. Nope, her solicitor said Form E is not required at this stage, completely missed my point of friendly exchange and simply sent me a whole wad of statements quickly followed by their offer and not giving me time to review her disclosures. I was pretty miffed as you can imagine!
She has no personal assets that I know about. She has a share in some overseas property with her siblings which was inherited years before I met her. I hear that doesn’t count.
Her offer last week:
£23k to buy me out which she says represents 50% of the family assets based on:
House equity £94000
My savings and assets £1200
My Pension CE £87000
Her pension CE £41000
She has a mortgage guaranteed by her step dad in anticipation of my acceptance.
I have had legal advice and my counter offer just sent is to reject the offer as it is not appropriate to count pensions on a £ for £ basis against cash assets especially given our ages.
£33k cash for me, we keep our own pensions and I continue to pay CM. There will be a Clean Break.
My offer is an open offer (on advice) should it get to court for the judge to see.I also set a deadline of 10 days or I will withdraw the offer.
Is my assessment of the facts above correct or am I missing something?
The question here is whether your housing needs can also be met.
Can she afford to take on the property and pay the additional amount you are asking for? If it isn't sold, there are no costs of sale so a bigger pot to split.
What you are being offered is only about 25% of that. There is also the question of whether she can afford the upkeep.
When your payment of CM and her benefits etc are taken into account, do you still have a bigger income than her?
If you can afford to buy with what's on offer, you could consider accepting just to get this done with. If you cannot, it is worth holding out for a bit more (assuming she can raise it). She may consider it is better to pay the money to you rather than spend £1000s on lawyers.
We have three separate valuations and the house is worth £276000. Equity is £94000. With her benefits we are close to being on par salary wise.
She has a mortgage offer in place with her stepdad as guarantor to keep the house and enough in it to pay me out her offer figure. If I get the £34000 I'm asking for then I could buy a nice two bedroom house but would obviously like three. Houses are relatively cheap in our area.
Her mum and step-dad are helping her pay off Reddit cards and settle legal costs to date.
Her offer is too low at 25% for me to buy another house.