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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.


I want to be fair

  • Ierston
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15 May 20 #512420 by Ierston
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Hi

I need some advice and wondered if anybody could help me please?

My husband and I have agreed to divorce, we have the Decree Nisi and are just at the point of trying to agree finances. We haven’t been happy for most of our 10 year marriage and haven’t been intimate since our 10 year old daughter was conceived.

Neither of us want to spend money on mediation or solicitors but want some help to reach a decision about how we split things.

With his extras he takes home £72k a year, I’m on £25.5k. He has £40k of savings and I have £6k, he has £26k of pensions and I have £18k. Our house is worth £210k, mortgage of £95k, equity of £115k. We don’t have any debts.

We have exchanged form E and all the documents and I can see that he’s contributed 29% of his monthly income towards the family over the years compared to my 47% a month. He pays the mortgage and buys the food whereas I pay all the bills and pay for our daughters childcare. It’s been this way for years.

He doesn’t understand any of it but I’ve had a few pointers. I have proposed that I keep the house for me, our daughter and my son from a previous relationship, I keep all the equity and have the remaining mortgage transferred in to my name (the most I can borrow is the £95k outstanding). I’ve said that we each keep our pensions and savings. He will pay the minimum child maintenance for his salary and agreed nights of £480 a month.

What about spousal maintenance though? I believe I may be entitled but should I just forget it if he agrees to me keeping all the equity in the house? I want to be fair but I also don’t want to be naive and walk away from something I am entitled to ask him for! Although we work in the same field I took a back seat career wise to care for our daughter and will never earn what he does now or will in the future.

If anyone could offer me a few pointers I would be very grateful. Is there anything that I haven’t considered?

Thanks

  • WYSPECIAL
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15 May 20 #512421 by WYSPECIAL
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Spousal maintenance is based upon need and ability to pay.

On £72k with a big mortgage and paying child maintenance your ex may possibly have some spare income but can you demonstrate a need for it? If so why and for how long? For example are you planning to do a course which will increase your earning capacity?

Bear in mind by the time you have received any child related benefits for the children, CM for your daughter and presumably CM for your son from his Father the gap between your incomes will have been diminished.

A the certainty of greater share of the assets rather than the uncertainty of SM would probably be better which you seem to be proposing anyway.

Don't worry about who paid what during the marriage. All contributions are seen as equal be they financial or otherwise.

You don't give any details of ages but I would question the value of the pensions. They seem very low especially for your ex.

  • Ierston
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15 May 20 #512423 by Ierston
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Hi

Thank you for responding.

We are early 40's, he is 2 years younger than me. He didn't start contributing towards a pension until recently which is why the figure is so low. I left it a bit late also.
I do not get any maintenance for my son, I never have done and he is too old now and has left school.
I have been up half the night doing the maths and after we split he will earn 40% more than me, spend 2% more than me (this includes mortgage, all bills, alcohol, smoking and gambling for him) and after everything considered he will have about £20k left a year and I will be over £10k in the red. That is based on his current income and projected future costs.

If I keep the house and equity and we each keep our own savings and pensions it works out at 67% to me and 33% to him.

Once our daughter gets to High School I want to finish my training to improve my earning capacity but that is 15 months away yet.

I want to be fair and not waste the money we have on solicitors but his proposal is 50/50 on the house and no spousal maintenance with minimum child maintenance. This seems a little unfair to me.

Thanks for any tips, very much appreciated.

  • Rickoshea
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15 May 20 #512436 by Rickoshea
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You both need a 2 bed property. He has greater mortgage capacity. If your Daughter is 10 and you can increase your earning capacity you don’t have much of a leg to stand on, pensions are trivial given the ages and value. Spousal seems unlikely so may be best to try and exchange house equity in lieu of it

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