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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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Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Advice on financial offer please

  • mnf
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14 Sep 12 #355967 by mnf
Topic started by mnf
Forgive me recycling this post but my stbx claims she has recently been given advice from a friend/professional and is now wanting considerably more than we were homing in on regarding a financial settlement.

My offer was this:

We are currently in tied accommodation, which I will/must continue to live in, but own no property ourselves. I earn about £65k and my wife about £25k. We have two children - 19 and 16. The 16 yr old has two more years of private school to go (£26,000 total). I am assuming that they will both get uni grants if they are resident with their mother in future. We have savings of about £30k.

I am suggesting that we split the savings 2:1 in my favour. My share will go towards school fees leaving me paying £270 per month from income. My wife''s share will pay for her rental advance and deposit and removal costs (£4500?). The remainder will form a security pot for her (£5930?). I will be left with no savings.

I am proposing paying my wife £1200 per month towards her rent of about £1500 until both kids have left uni when it will halve to £600 per month. (This reduction is based on the settlement mutual friends of ours reached a couple of years ago. I presume the rationale is that once kids have left uni and are independent I only need provide for one-bed accommodation for my stbx, not three!)

I will pay _all_ kids'' costs until they leave uni.

This should leave me with disposable income of about £500 per month during the next year; my wife with £400 per month. My "disposable" should increase gradually over the next few years and then signicantly once kids are through uni which means that I can start saving towards accommodation when I retire (I am 49).

I am suggesting that we value all furniture, cars and other belongings then set about dividing it up in a way which suits and achieves an equal split. It may well be that one or other offers cash in lieu.

Obviously my teacher''s pension will be carved up - I''m reckoning on her receiving half of 20/27 of the fund because I have paid into it for 27 years and we have been married for 20 years."

Stbx is now saying:
a. I should continue to pay £1200 per month until I retire because her accommodation "needs" don''t change when kids become independent because her "lifestyle" needs to be maintained.
b. She wants a greater proportion of my pension fund because she will not be able to contribute more to it over the next 16 or so years and we should end up with similar pensions.
c. She wants more of the savings saying that I can afford to pay daughter''s school fees out of earned income over the next two years (which is just mathematical madness!)

My feelings are that:
a. I will not commit to keeping her in a three-bed house until I retire when it means I cannot save towards a property when I retire, which is what we/I had always planned.
b. there is no way I will agree to anything that leaves her with more disposable income than I have.

Grateful for any comments/observations/advice on this.

What happens if we can''t agree? I cannot/won''t pay for solicitor representation. Does that mean that eventually she takes us to court and a judge will decide what we have to do (which could, of course, jeopardise daughter''s place at school over next two years!). If that''s what happens will it cost me anything even if I''m representing myself?

Sorry for a long post and so many questions but just don''t know what to do. There seems to be a big difference between what I perceive to be fair and reasonable and what my stbx perceives and what she is suggesting the legal system dictates.

Thanks, M

  • WYSPECIAL
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14 Sep 12 #355972 by WYSPECIAL
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Bear in mind that anything your stbx says she has been told is second hand and probably very biased!

You don''t seem to mention your wifes age.

If she is expecting you to pay her rent until you retire is there an age in mind? You could retire at 55. Equally go to state pension age and your kids would be 33 and 36!

After 20 years of marriage your whole pension is up for grabs not just 20/27 years? Does she have a pension? What are the pensions worth?

How much would a house cost for her to buy now?

Bear in mind you will be looking at paying 15% of your wages as child maintenance. Will you pay her rent in addition to this?

Your furniture isn''t worth bothering about unless very valuable or antique. arguing about it will cost more than replacing it.

  • mnf
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14 Sep 12 #355974 by mnf
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She is 44.

I am reckoning I won''t be able to afford to retire until I am 65+.

She has almost no pension.

I guess a 3 bed house around here would be £300k plus. Not sure we could afford the deposit on that, let alone mortgage payments.

I am offering to pay _all_ kids expenses, which will be about £700 p.m. for the next couple of years. (My take-home is about £3200.) I am offering to contribute £1200 p.m. towards her rent in addition to this.

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14 Sep 12 #355977 by WYSPECIAL
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That means you will be paying more than 50% of your salary in maintenance.

Sounds ludicrous to me! Can you afford to do that?

  • mnf
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14 Sep 12 #355978 by mnf
Reply from mnf
Only because I currently pay nothing for accommodation - it is provided by my employer. But that will stop when I retire which is why I want to start saving towards a house when the kids leave uni.

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14 Sep 12 #355980 by Elphie
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Her salary is 25k, and she is getting another 14k+ from you, just counting the amount towards rent and not what you are paying towards kids expenses, so she''s getting nearly 40k a year. Surely she can start contributing towards her own pension, to top up what she gets from you? She has another 20 years during which she can save quite a bit.

And she doesn''t need a three bed house to maintain her life style, IMO a life style isn''t based on how many bedrooms you have, it''s based on having a house / flat of comparable quality and in a similar area. So a similar one bed flat in the same area as her house would still maintain her living standards.

Sorry, that isn''t much help probably just telling you what you''ve already thought of yourself.

Have you suggested professional mediation rather than solisitors? Maybe a neutral third party rather than her biased advisor gut help you both to come back to an agreement that is more manageable and fairer to you?

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14 Sep 12 #355983 by mnf
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Well, I think she''s got used to a fairly free-spending lifestyle which she just can''t invisage giving up. But you''re right - with my maintenance she''s on a pretty decent income. More than most, I guess!!

Maybe mediation is a good idea. But it will cost me plenty (and her nothing!) and I get the impression that the mediator won''t impose any reason or rationality to our arguments (sorry - disucssions!!), they''ll just "facilitate" them. Not sure that that will make any difference to us.

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