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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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Already divorced. New partners income/assets.

  • Rickysf
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12 Sep 12 #355427 by Rickysf
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Hi guys. I''d be grateful for anyone''s thoughts on the following. I have been divorced for a number of years. I left the uk a couple of years ago to take up an overseas job having been made redundant in the uk (couldn''t find work in the uk). As soon as I can get a job back in London I shall be returning as I''ve had enough of the separation from my kids. As my original financial settlement was set pre credit crunch I know that when I return my income will be a lot less than when we agreed maintenance and child support so I will be pursuing a downward variation (I have been maintaining the original agreement as my low tax overseas income meant I could afford to). As I will be cohabiting with my new partner when I return I recognize that the courts would take into account our combined income when appraising mine and my ex-wife''s needs. The question I have is would the courts delve into my new partners assets? For example, if I buy a home on my own with a large mortgage the repayments are obviously a financial need of mine. If, however, my new partner helped and we bought the house mortgage free then my fear is that as I have no mortgage my own financial needs are lowered which means I may end up paying more to the ex-wife. Thoughts on how this type of situation is interpreted?

  • soulruler
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12 Sep 12 #355429 by soulruler
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I don''t know the answer as to how courts and csa regard capital of yours but obviously a concern is not to allow all of your partners capital as well as all of her income earning to be taken into account - I don''t think she would love you, the courts, the csa or your ex wife and children for that.

There are plenty of people on here who have a very good idea of how these things are viewed by CSA and Courts. However, I would say if you have plenty of capital and could be in a position to buy a large house outright why rock the boat with an application to vary maintenence down?

Why not hedge your bets and put some money down as a deposit and maybe your partner does not?

  • NoWhereToTurnl
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12 Sep 12 #355457 by NoWhereToTurnl
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Hi Rickysf,

This document might help you;

www.thomasmore.co.uk/ImageLibrary/Capital%20City%20Notes.pdf

Best wishes,
NWTT.

  • rugby333
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12 Sep 12 #355478 by rugby333
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Rickysf,

Just going through your position piece by piece:

1. Your new partner is only of relevance if she is a party to the proceedings. She is not a party to the proceedings and I do not believe any judge would allow her to be: the last thing a divorce judge wants is 2 women fighting each other over a man. To that end, your new partner is completely irrelevant to any aspect of this case whatsoever unless your ex wife is successful in making an application to the court that she be a part of these proceedings (which she will fail to achieve)
2. You have already had a capital split, so the starting point is your income. The judge will decide what portion of your lower income it is fair to give her should you apply for a variation of maintenance. This will include her circumstances, her needs and to some extent, an expectation that she has endeavoured to help herself. The overriding principle however is that maintenance is variable and income is the primary driver of that variability. It is very difficult to convincingly argue that the prospects or earnings of most people have improved over the last 5 years.
3. Once variation determination has been made, then the judge can determine whether this is capitalised (providing someone has applied for capitalisation) or not. This element will depend on how much cash you have and whether that cash could reasonably be used to settle the case. Judges like capitalisation because it brings to an end a union that has failed.

It would be unbelievably difficult for a judge not to reduce your payments if you were earning less as he would be vulnerable to appeal. No judge wants a successful appeal against them.

The primary issue for you therefore is the amount of liquid assets you retain after buying a house.

  • WhiteRose
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12 Sep 12 #355482 by WhiteRose
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Rickysf wrote:

Hi guys. I''d be grateful for anyone''s thoughts on the following. I have been divorced for a number of years. I left the uk a couple of years ago to take up an overseas job having been made redundant in the uk (couldn''t find work in the uk). As soon as I can get a job back in London I shall be returning as I''ve had enough of the separation from my kids. As my original financial settlement was set pre credit crunch I know that when I return my income will be a lot less than when we agreed maintenance and child support so I will be pursuing a downward variation (I have been maintaining the original agreement as my low tax overseas income meant I could afford to). As I will be cohabiting with my new partner when I return I recognize that the courts would take into account our combined income when appraising mine and my ex-wife''s needs. The question I have is would the courts delve into my new partners assets? For example, if I buy a home on my own with a large mortgage the repayments are obviously a financial need of mine. If, however, my new partner helped and we bought the house mortgage free then my fear is that as I have no mortgage my own financial needs are lowered which means I may end up paying more to the ex-wife. Thoughts on how this type of situation is interpreted?


If you end up mortgage free, you will therefore have more disposable income and therefore may be deemed able to continue to pay or pay more to your ex.

I think thats as far as your new partners income/assets will be considered.

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13 Sep 12 #355551 by Rickysf
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Hi soulruler, many thanks for your comments. I feel I have no choice but to rock the boat as I simply won''t be able to afford the maintenance payments as they stand upon my return. It''s highly likely that what I pay her now would be about 75% or more of my new uk net income when I come back (it was around 38 per cent upon divorce).
I personally can''t afford to buy a house outright on my own but if my new partner (we''re not married) sold her own place we could (combined) afford to buy a mortgage free place. I was thinking it would be safer for me to buy a house on my own (where we would cohabit) and have a hefty mortgage on it. That way when the courts look at my new income and my expenses I would hope they take my needs into account when determining new maintenance levels. If I had no mortgage I assume I''d end up paying more of what I do earn to my x. After the settlement, my new partner could then sell her place and we pay off the mortgage and jointly own the property.

My new partner doesn''t earn much but does have a lot of equity in her own home. I want to protect her from my x-wife and her lawyers when they start delving into my finances (again)

Either way (not that this may be relevant) my x (who took 70+ per cent of the assets when we divorced) is still living in the lovely home she acquired through our marriage which will be worth more than the house I end up buying (with or without my new partners help).

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13 Sep 12 #355552 by Rickysf
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Thanks nwtt, rugby and wr. Very comprehensive Rugby and much appreciated.

The sense I get is that the sensible strategy is to buy a comparable property to my x (which will incidentally be in a less expensive postcode and no doubt be of lower value than hers) in my sole name with a chunky mortgage. My new partner keeps her property. Once my new, much lower income level is established back in the uk I apply for variation of maintenance. Capitalization of maintenance won''t be relevant as my liquid assets will be minimal after the house purchase and my pension value hasn''t increased much since the divorce and isn''t large anyway. Long after the dust has settled after the renegotiation of maintenance my new partner may decide to sell her place and transfer equity to my house where we become co-owners and pay off the mortgage.

Sound like a decent plan?

By the way, I met my new partner long after getting divorced.

Really appreciate all your words of wisdom!

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