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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 legal advice on a fair financial settlement?

We offer a consultation with experienced family solicitor for a low fixed fee. You will receive legal advice and a written report outlining your legal position and setting out what a fair settlement would look like based on your individual circumstances.


Calculator

  • Inspire
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19 Jun 07 #890 by Inspire
Topic started by Inspire
Hi, have used your calculator & have the followng bug to report + questions to ask?

1. Having run the calculator, an additional "Former matrimonial home valued at £65000" is being added without me having added it in the Assets (in £s) data entry. i.e. There is the FMH that I have added plus this mystery FMH at £65000.

2. I have run the calculator a number of times selecting different lengths of marriage from 9 years up. Each time the calculator always suggests a 70/30 split whether I have entered 9 years or 19 years. Is this correct?

3. If this is correct, is a 70/30 split a common outcome in court? It would seem very high? My ex husband earns 4x my earnings & has the children 5 nights every 14.

  • LittleMrMike
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20 Jun 07 #892 by LittleMrMike
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I would like to know the answer to that question too.

If there is a starting point of 70% to the wife, I would like to know the authority for that proposition.

Mike

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20 Jun 07 #893 by wikivorce team
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Inspire,

Let me start by saying that the current version of the calc is a beta (or test) version and we will be upgrading it soon.

1. This is a strange bug - the data you enter is saved as a cookie so you dont have to enter it again every time you log on. I think the only way to get rid of the 65k would be to delete your cookies (which you can do from internet browser options menu). Be aware though that this deletes other cookies - typically used by sites to 'remember' you and to automatically log you in. And of course you will have to re-enter all the calc input data as it will be deleted.

2. This is plausible as 9 years is these days considered quite a long marriage. I bet if u enter 1 or 2 years the answer will change.

3. 70/30 is certainly not unusual in these circustances, maybe 60/40 is also just as likely. But the actual asset split is connected to whether or not ongoing spousal maintenance is due. Which in your case it probably is. The calc currently is not that great at balancing the asset split in the light of the calculated spousal maintenance award. It does assets and maintenance independently - which is not quite correct.

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20 Jun 07 #896 by LittleMrMike
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Whatever happened to ' the yardstick of equality ' ?

Mike

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20 Jun 07 #897 by wikivorce team
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Mike,

The problem as you know is that the guidelines for ancillary relief are unclear and open to interpretation.

The percentage split shifts based on scale of income:

At high end we see that it is not uncommon for partner of a very high earner to only 30-40% of assets, due to special contribution of super high earner.

In middle with enough assets/income to satisy needs of both parties we see a 50:50 split.

At bottom (which is large majority of cases) there is not enough to go round and be fair to both parties so based on prioritising kids (and therefore PWCs) needs the low earner PWC may be awarded > 50% , perhaps 60% or 70%.

From Family Law Week's review of Charman appeal:
"
- Equality of division is no longer just a yardstick or check, per White; it is now a principle of financial provision law (para 65 of the judgment).

- Since property should be shared equally unless there is good reason to depart from equality, any departure is not from the principle but takes place within the principle (65).

- English financial provision law is a two-stage process; first, what is the available property, income and other resources, secondly how should they be distributed in accordance with section 25 and case law (67)

- Where needs of each is greater than sharing, the former prevails; where needs are met by sharing, the latter prevails (73)."

The full article which is very interesting:
www.familylawweek.co.uk/library.asp?i=2980


Mike,

Having read a couple of your posts you may be interested in H vs H which is a recent case that contains some very interesting statements which give hope for those stuck with seemingly endless maintenance obligations:

www.familylawweek.co.uk/library.asp?i=2880

96. In this context it seems to me important to remember that a non-discriminatory, equal and fair approach is two-sided and an approach that has to be assessed and applied against the background and nature of a marital partnership. Therefore it seems to me important to ensure that the pendulum does not swing too far from:

i) a discriminatory and unfair award based on "reasonable requirements" and a Duxbury capital sum giving the ex-wife enough to meet those requirements until the date of her death assessed on an actuarial basis and nothing more, to
ii) an award that is unfair and discriminates against the party that has made the main direct financial contribution because it fails to recognise that:

(a) the marital partnership is terminable at any time and there is not a legitimate expectation of long term economic parity by reference to what the position of the lower earner would have been if the marriage had not broken down,
(b) the nature and effect of the factors that have gone to make up the earnings and earning capacity of the main earner,
(c) the aim is self-sufficiency and to give each party an equal start (my emphasis) on the road to independent living (see Baroness Hale at paragraph 144) having regard to their own talents and attributes, and their obligations and economic disadvantages flowing from the marriage (e.g. the wife continuing to be the primary caretaker of the children),
(d) in general the assumption is that the marital partnership does not stay alive for the purpose of sharing future resources unless that is justified by needs or compensation and that if a capital division is enough to provide for need and compensation then there should be no further financial provision (see Baroness Hale paragraphs 144 and 154), and
(e) the provision awarded should enable a gentle transition for the party who made the domestic contribution from the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage to the standard that she could expect as a self-sufficient woman (see Baroness Hale at paragraph 158, in the context of the Miller case) and in my view the length of the marriage and the role of an ex-wife as the primary caretaker of the children of the marriage would be factors to be taken into account in determining the amount of the provision to meet that transition.

Food for thought.

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20 Jun 07 #902 by LittleMrMike
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Thanks for that. As I said, I don't think this is the right time to consider the possibility of trying for a discharge. My judgment is that this consideration is better left until my ex is no longer self financing. She is in any event a very sick woman, Fortunately we have been good friends for many years now. Can't think of anything worse than paying maintenance to a woman you can't stand.

Mike

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26 Jun 07 #985 by Gilly
Reply from Gilly
Re the divorce calcilator - how does it apply to pensions already in payment?

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