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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

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.


Financial settlement

  • homer67
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04 Jun 12 #335076 by homer67
Topic started by homer67
Hi All, I''m asking this question on behalf of my girlfriend who is divorced but has not yet financially settled.

GF divorced in 2009 after 19 years of marriage and has been the non resident parent since November 2008, 3 children currently aged 21, 18 and 16.

GF has a low income under £450 per month and was paying maintenance but when it was reduced after middle child reached 18 her ex refused to accept any more saying that it wasn''t worth it. GF has gone through CSA to try and carry on with payments but her ex just refuses.

The intention was to not financially settle until the youngest child is 18 to ensure stability while in full time education, ex has indicated he would move away without care for the continuation of the children''s education.

Recently the level of abuse from the ex has escalated and this week because GF managed to save some money and buy the 16 year old a new phone this rubbed the ex up the wrong way and it ended in an argument with him shouting that he wants to financially settle, GF said no way, not till the youngest is 18 and he virtually exploded saying that he would force her to settle and she won''t get a penny from his house etc.

My GF and I do not live together, however I am in the process of buying a new house and we plan to move in together, GF will not have any part of my house in her name though and there is no mortgage.

GF is on low income £450 per month and her ex earns around £3k per month but is self employed so declares less. marital home is in joint names as is the existing mortgage which ex pays £446 per month, home is valued at £175k and mortgage is £126k. there are no other financial assets, GF left the marital home with clothes only, all assets such as furniture, tv etc were left behind.


So the questions are:

1) Can the ex force her to settle before the youngest is 18?

2) Will it make any difference to the financial split/settlement if GF moves in with me and no longer has to pay rent (although I will expect her to contribute)?

3) What is likely to be the split ratio?

4) Would GF be better off settling now while she is in rented digs and not living with new partner?

  • LittleMrMike
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05 Jun 12 #335104 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
My view :
1. Yes, he could force a financial settlement now. However, the implementation of that settlement could ( and almost certainly would ) be delayed to some extent. It is highly unlikely that the marital home would be ordered to be sold until the youngest child was 18.
2. Yes, there is no doubt that, in principle, it could make a difference that she was living with you rather than renting. She is clearly better off if she pays you, say £100 a month towards the mortgage than paying a higher sum for rent. These figures are illustrative, of course.
However, this normally matters when one party is paying or receiving spousal maintenance. In your case, on these figures, there is not a snowball in hell''s chance that she would be ordered to pay you SM.
But I think it matters to the extent that if she moves in with you, her housing needs are, for the moment, met. He, for the moment, is living in the family home. He has to have somewhere to live.
There is no doubt in my mind that your intended would have some claim on the marital home, but how that would be realised is a matter on which I can''t comment at this stage. You could sell and divide the proceeds ; he could perhaps buy you out ; or your GF could have a charge on the property which would be repayable on sale or certain other events.
3. I can''t comment on the split at this stage save only to observe that if you are planning to live together, a cohabitation agreement is something you could consider.
4. Would she be better off now ? Hmmm, not sure. Your GF''s ex presumably is aware of your relationship and your plans. It is 100% certain that this would come out during the Course of proceedings ( and it might be a waste of time concealing it ). At the moment your GF has a house and intends to move it with you, so her housing needs are met. The question would be,
What interest in the FMH is your GF to have ;
How would that be realised ; and
How can the Court make sure he has a home ?
LMM

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05 Jun 12 #335105 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Sorry, slight correction. What I meant to say was that there is no chance your GF would be ordered to pay spousal maintenance to her husband.


LMM

  • .Charles
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06 Jun 12 #335236 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles

2. Yes, there is no doubt that, in principle, it could make a difference that she was living with you rather than renting. She is clearly better off if she pays you, say £100 a month towards the mortgage than paying a higher sum for rent.


It is worth clarifying that if the girlfriend were to make a contribution to household expenses this would be fine. However, if she were to make a contribution towards the mortgage this could be a potential can of worms as the tricky question "has the wife any financial interest in her partner''s property" would be difficult to answer.

Charles

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