In the process of divorcing (couple for 24 years, married 15 or so), and spouse has just sent her demands via a solicitor. If I meet these demands she won't go down the full disclosure route, which she claims will cost £5K. I think the demands are massively unreasonable, but would welcome a sanity check. I actually want to be more than fair, but this is a crucifixion.
Situation is this. I work full time, earn £46Kish, take home about £2300. House is mortgage free, worth 300K, about £180K of savings, of which a good proportion was in her name for tax reasons. 2 Children (10 and 7) in private school, fees £18K a year and rising at between 5-10% annually. Spouse works part time, left work at time of birth of first child, but is degree qualified and currently doing an MA with a view to restarting career in about a year. I have final salary pension plus avcs, and a lot of life insurance, £500K plus. Two endowments due to mature in 2013, about £50K total split 20/30
- 50% of my pension plus avcs (fine, agree)
- 20K lump sum payment, other savings to "rest where they lie", i.e. she keeps anything in her name, total here is probably £20K plus but I haven't accurate figures, so at least £40K lump sum in effect.
- 100% of life insurance until it expires (I can't easily get new insurance for health reasons).
- Transfer the house into her name absolutely
- Agree to pay all school fees in perpetuity.
- 1250 a month maintenance
- the 20K endowment to be assigned to her.
The problem I have here is clearly that the amount for school fees plus maintenance is greater than my entire net income plus any interest I can get from savings, so would have to run down the capital if I agreed to the demands, and wouldn't be able to use it for example to buy a house.
I want to be fair, and my suggestions were:
- 50% pension
- £1000 a month, RPI linked
- £25K lump sum, plus some shares that are in her name, all other joint savings assigned to me
- no agreement to pay school fees, but work together to ensure they are paid, with the understanding that I will take the strain until she is employed, at which time we will work together to maintain payments.
- both endowments used to repay school fees pro rata, depending on who paid what.
- transfer house with no reservation
- 100% of life insurance until first child is 18, then 60% until second child is 18, thereafter 20%, remainder transferred to new spouse.
The threat I am met with is that if I don't agree her demands, she will go down the court route, which will be expensive. I have countered by saying that any diminuation in assets caused by legal action will mean that the first casualty is the private schooling. I don't want this, and she knows I don't want it too which puts me in a weak position. But I simply can't agree to these demands, which seem to me to be designed to ensure that I am in penury, where mine put her in a house mortgage free with an effective income of £20K a year from all sources and savings of £25K (and I am in penury but possibly with a house of my own). I am literally in despair at the situation.
I'm seeing a solicitor, but any reactions or comments would be welcome. I'm particularly interested in knowing what the minimum I can do would be, not to do it specifically, but to demonstrate that my proposals are actually extremely generous.
My first reaction......You are being blackmailed. See a solicitor first. Then if you are sure this marraige is finished, you file for divorce, hold the solicitor (tell them of course) GO TO mediation to fill in form E. save your money. Inmediation you will be together in same room and sort this out sensibly. A solicitor will be telling both of you you are right. The bills will stack up. You sound kind and intelligent. Dont waste money and dont waste emotions, which will be what happens when you start opening legal letters. Try to keep talking. You have two children. At the end of the day if kids are out of private school, so what. They will grow up into what they will grow up into anyway. Long term, they dont want to see broken bitter parents. They will love you both anyway, and you are their father . Keep sane! Keep talking especially through this site, it helps you realise you are not the only one when it feels that way
Just a postscript to say this seems to have worked out OK. I put the points to my wife and suggested mediation as a way through, but in the event we came to a compromise which allows her a little bit more cash in terms of savings, does not commit me to school fees, and which meets all of my concerns.
So talking does work, which is nice to know, but you can't help feeling that the way the divorce process works just creates these crises and raises the temperature along the way.