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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.


Unhappy wth solicitor's advice. Still have to pay?

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20 Oct 17 #497065 by WYSPECIAL
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Visselly wrote:

Yes, it certainly does make sense to secure as much as I can now..


Bear in mind what you secure now is yours to keep and invest as you choose. Your ex's circumstances may change meaning he could no longer pay SM or the amount will go down and your income will drop. You will have no control over this.

One benefit of receiving a pension share would be that I could draw on it from age 50 if I needed to.


Check this if you are relying on it as it is unlikely you will be able to access your pension funds before age 55

When my daughter goes to university (I'll be 52) my benefits will drastically go down as I'll no longer be entitled to the child element - so this is the period that I'm most worried about. Even working part time, my net income will be in the region of about £700 per month (£500 pay and £200 UC) That's barely more than the state pension!

My solicitor was saying that at this stage I should receive spousal maintenance.

My ex has said he will support our daughter through university. So I doubt he'd be in a position to pay much more than £300 spousal maintenance..


Great if your ex is in a position to support your daughter through university but your needs come first so SM shouldn't be reduced because of money he is choosing to spend elsewhere, and could change his mind about at any time.

Now this would be fine if WTC was still in place as it would take my income up to £1000 per month - probably more as WTC is more generous than UC.

Under UC though, it would only add £100 to my income. (the £200 UC would be withdrawn) £200 per month difference doesn't sound much, but it is when it would be the only disposable income I would have. At age 52, I don't really want to be in a position that once I've paid my bills, and done my weekly food shop, I have absolutely nothing left over! And yet if I had taken my solicitor's advice - that's the scenario I would have been facing.


One of the problems with state benefits is it is very hard to predict what is going to happen in the future when you are making financial plans. Look at what happened recently with Child Tax Credits. Everyone had braced themselves for a drop in income then, luckily, there was a government U turn.

Another thing to consider with UC is they take savings over £6k into account. You have mentioned in previous posts that you have equity in a buy to let property. You may find the presumed income that is applied in working out your UC far exceeds what you actually receive in rent.

I don't know the answer to the original question about not paying the solicitors bill. What has been agreed with them so far? You mention a free consultation and a follow up letter with their suggestions. Did you understand that you would have to pay for this letter or is it just to try to secure your business following the free consultation? Is there actually a bill they are expecting you to pay?

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20 Oct 17 #497067 by Visselly
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Thank you Wyspecial for this advice.

Since I discovered the impact of Universal Credit, I have completely changed my financial proposal, so that spousal maintenance is only payable in the short term (whilst I'm still on Working Tax Credit!) - This would achieve a Clean Break within a couple of years

And instead of my husband keeping his pension, and I keep pretty much everything else (55/45 in his favour), I have decided instead to propose:

I keep the FMH, with a view to selling it and downsizing to a property that I can buy outright with the equity

My husband keeps the BTL to do with as he wishes. - (This will mean I will have to find another job, which I am looking into)

The pension assets are split 70/30 in my favour

The relatively small cash assets that we have to be split 60/40 in his favour.

child maintenance to be set relatively high (£900 p/m, instead of my original proposal of £500 CM and £400 SM)

Overall this would represent an asset split of 69/31 in my favour,

I know he will consider this as unfair, but what he doesn't seem to take into account is that his earning capacity is now considerably greater than mine, mostly on account of me giving up my career to support his. Once my daughter is 18, he will be free of any maintenance obligation to me, and I will be on a very low income.

So far with the solicitor, I had a free consultation, a one hour meeting at which we discussed possible financial needs and proposals, and then a follow up letter with his suggested proposal for myself to use in my negotiations with my husband.

Given that the impact of UC was not mentioned in the meeting or in the follow up letter, the meeting and the letter was based on my receiving spousal maintenance until I was 60.

Now that I realise that this would be financial suicide for me, and am therefore proposing something entirely different, I feel that as a Family Solicitor he should have known about the impact of UC on SM and at least made reference to it.

I haven't raised this with him yet, but at some point, I presume I'll receive an invoice for the meeting and the letter

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20 Oct 17 #497069 by WYSPECIAL
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Visselly wrote:

Thank you Wyspecial for this advice.

child maintenance to be set relatively high (£900 p/m, instead of my original proposal of £500 CM and £400 SM)


Remember that the court can only deal with CM by consent.

The CMS amount payable for the salary you have quoted would be just under £600 per month but if he pays into a pension scheme or has your daughter overnight will be less.

If he agrees to CM being in the Court Order after a year he can change his mind and go to CMS for assessment. In the figures you have quoted above this could lead to a significant drop in your income especially if he decided to pump extra into his pension fund.

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20 Oct 17 #497075 by Visselly
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Thank you for those pointers. They are highly relevant and I will definitely take them on board.

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