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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Do judges favour the financially weaker?

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09 Aug 19 #508986 by Pilkie78
Topic started by Pilkie78
This is very high level because I want to keep it simple:
Couple both 40
10 Year Marriage
Separated 1 year ago
Applied for an awaiting Decree Nisi
Both degree educated
Both equally maintain the home.
One works hard to develop career - overtime, training exams etc.
One cruises doing admin roles and has a better quality of life
They build a pot of £400K cash
£300K (75%) was generated by the higher earner
Current incomes are:
£100K - Full time job
£20 - Part time job (28 hours).

Would the judge typically award more of the estate to help the weaker party transition to financial independence? Or would they split the pot 50/50 because the weaker party could up their game, work more hours and develop a higher earning capacity?

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09 Aug 19 #508991 by WYSPECIAL
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Starting point would be 50/50 as all contributions to a marriage are seen as equal then it comes down to need.

You haven't given enough detail for anyone to answer that.

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09 Aug 19 #508993 by Pilkie78
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Ok, I am just after a rule of thumb. If you assume all other variables are equal. I choose not to work to develop my career. Instead I enjoy more leisure time. I end up on a low income while my spouse works hard, developes a career and becomes a high earner. We both benefit from the high income and assets generated while we are together. We then separate and my low income and reliance on my spouse generates need. Would the judge see that I should have put more effort in and share assets 50/50. Or would the judge tend to reward me with a larger share of equity to help me remedy my low income needs?
Is need generally rewarded even if it is avoidable e.g. You have a lazy spouse.

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10 Aug 19 #508995 by WYSPECIAL
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Pilkie78 wrote:

Is need generally rewarded even if it is avoidable e.g. You have a lazy spouse.


They wouldn't see you as a lazy spouse-all contributions to a marriage are seen as equal.

I don't think it is a case of need being rewarded as need being recognised. It stands to reason that the spouse with the lower income will often need a greater share of the assets.

If you're a high earner and likely to pay SM then giving up a greater share of the assets to reduce SM is probably in your best interests.

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10 Aug 19 #508996 by WYSPECIAL
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I've just read your other posts and see that you are currently paying your ex £10k per year on a voluntary basis. Is this correct?

SM is based upon need of the recipient and ability to pay of the payer.

By paying this you have recognised that she has a need and proved that you have the ability to pay.

It may be worth considering a smaller share of the assets to reduce this and minimise the length of time you have to pay it for.

Having said that the CM you are currently paying looks very low for your income so that balances it to a degree for now.

Potential inheritance from parents that are still alive will not be considered. They may choose not to leave her anything at all when the eventually die.

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10 Aug 19 #508997 by Pilkie78
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Ok, thank you. I thought that would be the case but I was not sure. I can see there is no easy way to determine if someone is lazy because career success is not a reliable indicator of someone's contribution to a marriage.
Unfortunately it does seem to mean that someone can sit on their hands and generate need while their partner slaves away at work and home. Then the lazy partner is rewarded with more than 50% of the estate because their needs justify this.
As you can tell I am new to the divorce game and a lot of the rules surprise me. The lack of clarity and the requirement for subjective interpretation of the rules make it really hard to understand what is fair. In the grand scheme of things a lazy spouse is a picnic compared with someone that cheats or is abusive.
Next time I will read the small print :-)

Have a nice weekend!!

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10 Aug 19 #508998 by Pilkie78
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Sorry I missed this post. I am not looking to permanently pay my ex £10K. We are 50/50 with the kids so I want to reduce to £100 - £200 per month. We have gone through the process of separating our assets and I have volunteered to take a smaller share of the estate, most of the liabilities, plus short term maintenance to help her adjust to being responsible for her own income. I also contributed £8K to upgrade and furnish her new home. This is so my kids have two nice home to enjoy.
I am now loaded with debt but luckily over the last year I have continued to earn good money contracting to keep me afloat. Without that I would be in a lot of trouble. My contract is due to end in September so my income will drop.
We started off amicable and my spouse appreciated the support. Now she is living on her own, reality has kicked in and she now wants more money on top of the extra she has received.
I feel that she is being greedy and should now be looking to generate her own income. It has been a year since we separated and she is still working part-time 28 hours per week. She also has no debt and so could take on a small mortgage to help with cashflow as she adjusts to her new monthly budget. She has about £600/month of disposable income after essential outgoings.
Instead she keeps looking to me to provide the money. This is on the basis that she is accustomed to a lifestyle so it is up to me to continue to provide.
This is the sticking point. Does her need and lifestyle justify more money. Or should she be maximising her income to support herself now that her needs have been met?

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