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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.


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Duration of spousal maintenance

  • wendy99
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03 Dec 07 #8345 by wendy99
Topic started by wendy99
I have just completed the calculation which has indicated a spousal maintenance figure of £260 and an asset split of 70/30. How long would the spouse maintenance continue? Til son is 18? Would it take a court order to change it? Would it normally end at retirement?

  • LittleMrMike
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03 Dec 07 #8347 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Difficult one to answer without knowing more but

(1) An order for spousal maintenance always terminates on the death of either party, or re-marriage of the recipient ; this is the only absolute rule and there are no exceptions.
(2) The Court is under a duty to at least consider the issue as to whether the recipient of maintenance ( ie you ) could adjust to the termination of the payments without undue hardship ; so it can, for example, provide that the payments are to cease on a specified date in the future.
(3) An order can be varied or discharged at any time in the light of changed circumstances, and would almost certainly be reduced on the retirement of the payer.
(4) As a general rule it is expected that a recipient of maintenance should take reasonable steps to seek suitable employment and to augment his/her income
(5) There is always a relationship between capital and income provision, and a high capital settlement can result in a lower order for spousal maintenance.

In the final analysis, no two cases are ever the same. I must say I have a feeling, following the House of Lords decision in the landmark case of McFarlane, that many orders for SM in the future will be open ended ; ie no termination date is specified in the order, so that the payments could, in theory, continue during the joint lives of the parties, and the onus is on the payer to justify a reduction or discharge. But if there are no statistics kept, then it is no more than a gut feeling.

Mike 100468

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04 Dec 07 #8367 by wendy99
Reply from wendy99
Thanks alot for your reply mike100468. You sound like you know what you're talking about!

  • attilladahun
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04 Dec 07 #8373 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
Most H try and "capitalise" SM and give you extra capital instead of paying SM

With a spouse working and maximising income it is often the aim of spouses not to pay SM for more than 3/5 years if possible.

In many cases there may not be enough Capital to achieve this or say other spouse needs cap for hsng needs.

As Mike rightly says the Crt should not Clean Break on SM UNLESS the Spouse can adjust without undue hardship.

The older the spouse the strategy can vary...say W is 55 in a long Mrge of 20 yrs+...often SM till retirement pension share and divide capital

If younger say 45 different considerations may apply....spouse may have to bit bullet and pay SM and hope you find a new partner.

Often a factor to consider for a W is when will she likely cease to receive Tax Credits...as that is a difficult time if her income is not self sufficient as if so she will need SM.

By that time in your life as Mike says there are other issues..

when C leave home is the FMH too large...may need to be sold to reduce "need"

At that time in life there may be inheritance factors.

Always remember to look at the s 25 MCA factors.

The Court if asked to deliberate will tend to play safe and keep SM going as the state doesn't want to support parties they would rather delegate that the x H's !!!

As Mike says your ex needs to give you consideration for the dismissal of SM ie more capital or assets....if He had a pension for 20 yrs and mrge for 10 and he offers a 50% pension share that is as good as extra capital.

Need tends to determine most normal and not high net worth cases.

Whilst you have used the callr without detailed Capital, Income, Pen details, ages, length of mrge, amt of exstng mtge it is diff to predict for you the actual outcome.

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04 Dec 07 #8427 by wendy99
Reply from wendy99
:SThanks alot for your comments.

We jointly own a house outright worth approx £400k and savings/shares/endowment worth £200k. CETVs outstanding but similar values at point of cohabitation but now approx £200k for his and £150k for mine due to looking after son and no pension provision for me in 9 years.

We have no debts or loans.

We have been living together 19 years (married 14) My net income is £825 a month including extras, his £1270 (he voluntarily took a pay 50% pay cut 1.5 years ago!!!). I work 19 hours a week as i have an 8 year old son and house to look after.

We are both 44.

Although calculator suggest a split of 70/30 + sm,
I am thinking of asking him for 2/3 of assets (£400k, CSA for son (£135) and 50/50 split of pensions. Is that reasonable? Am I being greedy? Am I being soft?? Your wisdom would be very very much appreciated.

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04 Dec 07 #8432 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
Is FMH mortgage free

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04 Dec 07 #8434 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
Is H still in FMH -if so how many over night stays a year for son is expected

If he gets £1270 pa or £293 pw
CSA = £190 per month if no overnight stays; £164 per month if over 53 nights and £134 per month if over 104 nights..

Now if he was earing 1.5 times more ie £22860 net or £439 pw
CSA = £286 per month if no overnight stays; £242 per month if over 53 nights and £203 per month if over 104 nights..

No doubt you will argue earning capacity if he voluntarily reduced his hours...

s25 MCA in part says..

"The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each spouse has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future including, in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity which it would be, in the opinion of the Court, reasonable to expect a person to take steps to acquire."

Well he better beeping well take steps to acquire 1.5 x more income and lawyer should get on hiis case sharpish!

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