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Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits

  • Melittis
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1 year 11 months ago #502644 by Melittis
Hi,

We are separating and we both want to avoid court if possible. However I am unable to work and have been dependent on my husband for the whole of our 3 year marriage due to my disabilities & health conditions.

He earns £46k a year and the mortgage is in his name only as I've never had any income.

When it comes to dividing our finances, husband wants to avoid selling the property as he wishes to stay in it. I can't stay here anyway as its no longer accessible enough for me, but I can't afford a private rental and am worried that housing application will take years.

He reckons I'd be due about £50k if we went for the basic 50/50 split of matrimonial property, but obviously I'd not get any benefits then, so it would have to be used to fund my living & housing costs until it ran out? Then I guess I'd end up on benefits after that anyway since I can't work?

So husband views this as wasted money and reckons we should agree for me to take less than half of that so that I can preserve any benefits I might be able to claim, and he can preserve his lifestyle.

I guess the way I look at it, £50k is not enough to buy a place around here, and even if it was, how would I afford to maintain a home of my own on benefits in future? So maybe he's right?

I mean, it feels like I'm doomed to poverty anyway, eh? So is there any point in taking his damn money?

But would that be seen as reasonable by the judge and/or benefits system? Would a judge allow such an unfair split in a consent order? Would the government deny me benefits on the grounds that I knowingly agreed to less than half? (ie. why should the taxpayer have to fund me if he could have?)

I am so confused right now. :(

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1 year 11 months ago #502655 by Visselly
Replied by Visselly on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
Hi and welcome to wikivorce - although sorry you find yourself here...

Before anyone can try to answer your question, a little more information is needed.

Did you co-habit before you got married? - How long have you been together in total?

Are there any children?

One option could be that your ex retains more of the capital assets (ie the house) and that you go into rented, and that he pays you spousal maintenance

A word of warning on this option however! Spousal maintenance is now considered to be income and is deducted £ for £ from Universal Credit, although it wouldn't affect any disability benefits you may be on, such as DLA or Pip

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1 year 11 months ago #502656 by Visselly
Replied by Visselly on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
And how has he worked out that you'd get about 50k from the sale of the property?

Does he mean that there's £100k of equity in the property? Have you had a recent valuation done, and do you know how much is left to pay on the mortgage.

Do either of you have pensions?

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1 year 11 months ago #502657 by Melittis
Replied by Melittis on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
Hi there Visselly, and thank you.

Yes, we have been together around 10 years total & cohabiting since 2009 in a rental. Moved into here / husband got mortgage 2013.

No children.

I think that's his estimate tbh. Still need to get a valuation done but I think the £50k figure was property + savings whilst married + pension? He reckons the mortgage would cost 110k to pay off atm though.

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1 year 11 months ago #502658 by Visselly
Replied by Visselly on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
I think it would be called a medium length marriage, so not necessarily a short one where you pretty much take out what you put in

The ideal situation would be for you to have enough money to buy a property outright. How much would a suitable 1 bedroom property cost in your area?

The first thing you need to do is to get a full picture of all of your joint assets:

Equity in property
Savings & investments
Pension valuation - you need to write to the pension provider for this and ask for a CETV)

Car

And anything else that you own. Once you have a full picture of your joint finances, you might be surprised to find that, £50k is a conservative figure (offer) and that there might be a case for you needing more in order to re-house yourself

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1 year 11 months ago #502659 by Melittis
Replied by Melittis on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
Thanks! I will push for this info since we'll need it anyway in mediation or whatever. Cheapest ground floor properties in this area are currently between 80k & 100k, usually much more than that.

I'm not optimistic about being able to buy a place. It's so expensive here, and even if that weren't an issue, with no income I'd be terrified that it would just deteriorate because I'd not be able to afford repairs, etc.

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1 year 11 months ago #502662 by Visselly
Replied by Visselly on topic Re:Separation/Divorce Finances vs. Benefits
I'm going to be in a similar situation

I also have health problems which limits my capacity to work (I have MS) and with all the welfare reforms going on, I'm terrified that once my daughter leaves home, I'll end up on the breadline.


I'm hoping that the result of the financial settlement will be that I'll have enough to purchase a small property outright. I plan to buy a new(ish) property so that maintenance issues won't be too much of a problem.

I've always owned my own home though, and the idea of renting really doesn't appeal to me.

I appreciate that being a homeowner and all the responsibility that comes with it, might be a little daunting, but as you rightly said - if the financial settlement gives you a lump sum, then you would be expected to live off it, and wouldn't get help with your rent etc.

My advice at this stage would be to keep your options open, and don't agree to anything he proposes now.


Wait until you have a clearer picture of the finances. His pension could be substantial. My ex's pension is worth nearly 3x the value of the equity in the house.

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