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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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Spousal Maintenance - what is a reasonable amount?

  • SammyD123
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13 Feb 08 #13771 by SammyD123
Topic started by SammyD123
Hi, am 28 have a 20 month old son and have been married for 5 years, together for just over 7. Husband announced on our Wedding Anniversary that he had beenseeing someone else, didn't love me enough and was leaving us to go and live with her. Bit of a shock as had no idea, I thought we were happy and had been trying for another baby (at husbands suggestion). We haven't discussed any financial things yet, I work part time and we don't have a lot of spare money each month so for the past few weeks he's just been asking me for a bit of cash each week. He's useless with money so has no cash cards to our bank accounts as he knoew the bills would never get paid if he did. I've seen a solicitor who has said I'm entitled to ask for maintenace in order to keep staying in the family home. It's just a two bed terrace and no more than me and my son need so am apparently allowed to stay here until son finishes his full time education. Husband keeps saying he's getting advice about the situation but then never says anything apart from asking for his weekly money. Am hoping that his salary is still getting paid into our joint accoun but will need to sort out maintenance at some point. My solicitor has said to work out what my shortfall is after receiving bnefit and ask husband for the difference - this includes all bills and childcare aswell as money for food, travel etc. Do not wanto go to court really and apparenly neitherdoes husband but am worrying that he'll just say no towhat I'll ask him for. Doesanyone have any idea what advice he may have been given. Do you think it's a case of regular child supprt and then half the mortgage. Husband did mention thatmaybe he could sign house overto me and not pay any maintenance but that wouldn't work as couldn't afford to pay the mortgage. Have since found out that am pregnant, have told husband and he is very keen for me to coninue with the pregnancy which I am regadless of his opinion. I'm just not sure what advice my husband wll hav been givn and how much he can reasonably be expected to pay. H's moved in wth somone he's been seeing for a month who has 2 children of her own. I only work part time because I'm at home with my son the rest of the week which was a mutual decision. Any advice much appreciated.

  • mike62
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13 Feb 08 #13784 by mike62
Reply from mike62
Sammy,
Life is not simple is it?

OK, your husband has statutory obligations to pay you child maintenance. You have one child now and one on the way. The CSA rate for maintenance is 15% of his nett (after tax and NI and pension) income, rising to 20% for two children. The child maintenance is not negotiable, it is a legal obligation.

Guideline on Spousal Maintenance - Take your combined nett income - his and yours, including any benefits like child benefit. Divide this by three and deduct your income. The remainder is what he should be paying you in spousal maintenance.

Have you checked whether you are entitled to any additional benefits? Tax Credits? www.entitledto.co.uk

Your husband may not like the advice he is given, because it is going to cost him a lot of money, but he has obligations, whether he likes it or not. The law is there to protect everyone Sammy, and it will protect you and your son.

Best of luck

Mike

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14 Feb 08 #13868 by SammyD123
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Hi

Thanks for that - where does that divide by 3 formula come from. In my cas it leaves a minus figure for spousal maintenance but I'm still unable to afford to stay in the family home on my own.

I've looked into benefits and my child tax credit increases from £9 to £45 a week and they will also cover 80% of my childcare costs on top of that. I work 3 days a week and earn £14700 a year, thats £938 a month after tax, NI and pension. By the time I add that to my benefits and husbands salary of £1262 (normally £1432 with 2 days overtime but not guaranteed) and divided it by 3 I'm left with a minus figure of £115. I still have to pay £55 a month towards childcare, the mortgage is £950 - just a 2 bed house, bought 4 years ago but not a verygood interst rae due to husbands bad credit rating. Add to that the council tax, water, gas/electricity, lifeinsurance, home insurance, telephone etc then there is no way I canafford it on my own. My salary doesn't cover the mortgage. My solicitor has advised me that husband wouldbe expected to pay the legal child maintenance amount and at least half the mortgage as myself and the children would be expected to remain in teh family home. I've seen the divide by 3 formula a few times but no idea where it's from. I'm in a better position than some in that I do earn a salary but willonly beat work for another 6 months before I start maternity leave, and even nowcannot afford our essential outgoings on my own.

  • sallyanne
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15 Feb 08 #14023 by sallyanne
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Do you get working family tax credit.... ring the family tax credit people and if you work more than 16hrs a week you get a good sum - i get over a hundred pounds a week. its a life saver. do you have your own family to help? Sallyanne

  • juttabeck
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15 Feb 08 #14032 by juttabeck
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What about looking into getting a mortgage on the property in your name? If your credit rating is better than his, you may get a better rate. Also, you don't have to have a repayment mortgage - at least not initially, it may be worth doing a half-interest only or even all interest only for a while?

He is obliged to pay child support, but not half of the mortgage. If it is in both names, you are both liable for the full debt, not half each. Whose name is the house in? You will be better off having it in your name only and paying him out what you can afford to or sell it and buy somewhere you can afford (bearing in mind suggestions above on mortgages) or allowing him a charge. How are you going to agree house maintenance (e.g. boiler repairs, roof repairs etc) if you are paying half a mortgage each and he doesn't live there. What if you want to redecorate/extend but he can't afford it? if the house is in both names, you may need his permission? Things to think about....

  • Canary
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16 Mar 08 #16977 by Canary
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Mike
Do you include the child maintenance from ex husband in this calculation of wife's income?

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