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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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Sanity Check on Maintenance - Help Please

  • alexanda
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14 Mar 08 #16771 by alexanda
Topic started by alexanda
My wife and I are in the middle of a massive tussle and we have so far spent 12K on legal bills and she has just pulled out of collaboration.

We have just sold the matrimonial home as it wasnt affordable long term and we are both going in to rent until we are sorted. The basics are a cash equity pot excluding pensions of approx £370K.

I have 3 pensions with CETVs of £193K, £40K and £2.5K
She has one pension with CETV of 16.5K

I earn about 100K and she currenly earns £5K so a big difference.
With Child tax and Child allowance she has another 6K and with my child support she will get another 10K approx.
She currently doesnt work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit.

She made an opening request of
305K to buy a house and be mortgage free plus £1700/ month maintence of which £800 is children and £900 is spousal.

She doesnt do much work but could work more and up her earnings. The children are 12 and 9 and she is hiding behind our previous (married) stance that her being at home was best but now she wants the div but doesnt want to change her lot too much.

In a nutshell she thinks she needs to be mortgage free and have an income of 30.5K net per annum to get by on. I am not v happy about this and need a reality check.

She is looking for +80% of the cash equity pot plus £900 month Spousal. Is that credible ?

She has legal bill of 5k which she wants me to help her pay. Should I ?

Any help much appreciated.


  • LittleMrMike
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14 Mar 08 #16778 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
A few preliminary thoughts.

The first is that you say you have spent a considerable sum on legal bills. I think you ought to have some idea from your solicitors about the sort of settlement that might be possible.

The second is that you need to realise that capital and income provisions are closely intertwined. In this case your wife is claiming 80% of the equity, a comparatively high figure, but her spousal maintenance is well within the range of the possible, and I personally would say it may well be on the low side, but the point is that she would have a house free of mortgage so that means her accommodation costs, and therefore her need for SM, is lower.

The other matter which you have not gone into is pensions.
These come into it as well. Many wives will take a short term view and sacrifice future pensions in exchange for a bigger share of the house. You don't say whether she's
making a claim against them.

But a Court has to consider your needs as well and might take the view that with a share of the equity and a high income, even after maintenance, you would have enough to re-house yourself.

I would say it's unlikely that a Court would expect your wife to work until your youngest reaches secondary school age, but she can't sit on her backside all the time until the day she dies ; there will come a time, sooner or later, when she will need to work or risk having her maintenance cut.

I think there are a number of ways in which this particular pot can be shared out and a lot may depend on
what is important to both of you. It would not be unreasonable for you to buy a house big enough to allow your children staying access.

Have you considered mediation ? I hate to see divorcing spouses spending a fortune on lawyers.

Mike 100468

  • alexanda
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14 Mar 08 #16783 by alexanda
Reply from alexanda
Thanks mike

I wanted to start with mediation but she refused to even go there after I spent too much (in her eyes) (approx £2k) on furniture and essentials for a rented unfurnished flat. I asked her to go to collab but after 3 meetings I was given this denmand and was very unhappy. Things deteriorated and she said she had no faith in the process and has sacked her lawyer and is planning to engage another and just go to FDR.

She say she does not want any of my pension but in her request 4 maint she wants £200/month for her own pension. her main issue is to be mortgage free.

I am having the children 9-12 nights a month so I think I have a good case tio be able to own a 3 bed property where the children can come and stay.

If she takes a big slice of the cash then i am limited on my abiluity to get back into the market as my mortgage capacity is dented by the fact she wants £1700/month of my net so whilst my take home starts at 4,500 its down to 2,2,800 by the time she gets her bit. I live in the SE and its expensive. A 3 bed semi of any quality here is min £270K

Any more ideas/thoughts are most welcome.

  • peterc
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16 Mar 08 #16918 by peterc
Reply from peterc
what about offering her the money to be mortgage free, but retaining a charge on the property of say 20% of the settlement value? This would come payable either on her remarrying / co-habit, or kids reach 18 or if she decides to sell up and move on.

  • alexanda
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20 Mar 08 #17287 by alexanda
Reply from alexanda

Thanks. I have met with her since and put a few ideas on the table and managed to get her to review her costs and ideas for maint. She conceded a lot had been overcooked. My big issue is the fact that she has the ability to work and is working to increase the potential but she wont factor that in to her income.

Where i live its pretty expensive and I will need 250-280 to het a 3 bed house in an average area so need som capital to start with plus a reasonable amount of disposable to service a big mortgage.

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