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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.

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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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what is a reasonable expectation

  • jane61
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30 Aug 12 #352906 by jane61
Topic started by jane61
Where to begin..
W51 self employed earning £18K
H55 employed earning £70K
W preserved pension CETV 100K
H final salary pension CETV 550K
MH 440K outstanding mortgage 92K
Married 17 years cohabited 1 year prior to marriage.
W brought 15K and pension all earned prior to 1988 to marriage.
H pension but do not know the value in 1994.
Both of us have been married before (I wont do it again!)
2 children of the marriage; 22 year old employed 24year old final year of study. Both live away from home and are financially independent.
My business has been hit by the ressesion and the fact that son was diagnoised with cancer last year and I spent alot of time at hospital with him. projected revenue for this year is approx 18K.
We tried mediation but he would not cooperate has sent a without prejudice offer of 60% of MH and 13% of his pension CETV and no spousal maintenance is this fair?? I think his pension is a valuable asset and the largest proportion of his pension was earned whilst we were together.Also there is a huge difference in earnings surely he shouldn''t be able to sustain his lifestyle whilst I live on a pittence.

  • Action
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30 Aug 12 #352964 by Action
Reply from Action
I found it useful to approach from a different angle than what is ''fair'', i.e. can you raise a mortgage/or can you buy a suitable property with the 60% equity. Work out all your monthly expenses now and what they would be living alone, and then see what the shortfall is. Try to argue what your ''needs'' are.

Your situation is not disimilar to mine in that he was a much higher earner and my self-employed business had taken a knock due to the recesssion and caring for a relative with cancer. His pension was higher than mine but not such a huge gap as yours. My outcome after some very tough negotiating in Mediation was 50/50 of equity in house, him keep his ''collections'', both keep our businesses and then I will get £80k from him instead of spousal maintenance or pension sharing. It was very close to what I suggested to him a week after the split but it took 16 months to agree and a lot of money on solicitors and mediation. He assumed everything would just be 50/50. When he realised it wouldn''t be he ran his business down on purpose and ended up on benefits. As such I didn''t dare take the risk of pushing it to court.

  • livinginhope
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31 Aug 12 #352971 by livinginhope
Reply from livinginhope
Jane I would suggest you see a couple of solicitors to try and get an idea of what you could reasonably expect to get as a settlement.MY opinion,not expert,is that I think you should get more than is being offered.
One thing I can say with some certainty is that the amount you brought into the marriage will be considered part of the marital assets .I brought a very large amount into my last marriage, enough to pay for half of the house,but this didn''t have any bearing on the settlement as we were married 16 years.

  • LittleMrMike
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31 Aug 12 #352977 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
It''s never all that easy to answer a question like this, but I will give you my first reaction.
I''d agree with Action that your most important issue is housing. The Court''s primary objective is that you both have somewhere to live. That doesn''t necessarily mean that it has the be the former marital home ; it can mean that people who were formerly owner occupiers have to rent. But the bottom line is that both parties need a roof over their heads or are left with the means to secure it.
It''s never easy to advise on housing where I don''t know where you live or what £x will buy you in your area.
On the question of incomes, yes, there does indeed seem to be a large disparity but, if you won''t mind my saying so, I''m interested in how much he has left after the tax man has had his share. It can sometimes happen that benefits have to be re-evaluated as well and sometimes the result can be that the disparity does not seem as great as it did when comparing the gross pre-separation incomes.
Do I take it from what you say that you accept, in principle, that the marital home is now too large for you and needs to be sold, thereby reducing your living expenses, paying off the mortgage and leaving both of you free to go your own separate ways ? From where I stand it looks that such an outcome would be quite probable.
I honestly don''t like to advise on pensions save only to remark that you clearly have a claim to a pension share and the issue really is how much.
On the issue of spousal maintenance, I think it is likely that you would get something, it is unlikely that the Courts would dismiss a maintenance claim for a wife in her 50''s ( subject of course, to the payer''s ability to afford it ). There is the question of how long it lasts, but it may be that, depending on the pension position, it could cease or be reduced to a nominal order on his retirement.
But what you need to do is to try and look at your future housing needs, and try to work out your living costs as they will be after separation. Your husband should do the same and from there you should get a reasonable idea of how much SM you might need and for how long. I am sorry this seems vague - I know it is - but this is the way the Courts seem to work these days.

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