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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.

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advice needed....where do I stand

  • bluedot
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27 Oct 07 #5393 by bluedot
Topic started by bluedot
hi there
I have been married 18 years.....two children 14 and 17..our house has been fully paid for......my wife works mornings only, and over the years she has studied and has a psychology degree...infact her earning potential is now better than mine.......now the marriage has broken down, she wants me to move out until our youngest child is 18...so it seems I will have to rent a flat for 4 years while I still pay the bills at home because she cant afford it........OR WILL I?? where do I stand...in a fair world we would split the house 50-50, and she would get a job and support herself, I dont mind supporting the kids...She says she WONT sell.....I earn £28000 and she earns £8000..........I dont want this to turn nasty..I just want what is fair and right.......what is the best and worst I could expect....ie what would a solicitor suggest, what would happen if it went to court????...I am about to start the divorce ball rolling, and i`d like to know beforehand what to expect.....thanks

  • JulesW
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28 Oct 07 #5394 by JulesW
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Sorry to hear about where you are and the rather frightening prospects ahead of you.

I have used the Divorce Calculator on this website. It is quite useful and as far as I can tell accurate. I think there are some notes in the forums about it to say that it apportions the house and calculates spousal maintenance at the same time which apparently doesn't happen.

Click on Resources, Divorce Calculator. If you keep the cookies you can keep the calculations and amend as you wish. You can also save the calculations or print them off.

Usefully, it explains how things are apportioned. Try it and use it as a guide.

I think her potential earnings are not taken into account but if she later changes her employment the calculations can be re-visited.

I hope that helps in these difficult times.


  • Sera
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28 Oct 07 #5407 by Sera
Reply from Sera
bluedot wrote:

..I just want what is fair and right.......

Sadly, in British Law there are no 'rules' regarding divorce. End of. It appears to be either you agree with your ex, and amicably split things, say through mediation, or spend a lot of money on legal representation, ending up in Court. (Current costs - up to £70k)

So, do the sums. If your wife is the main carer, then she can stay in the house until youngest is 18. It is little point selling, only to establish a new home whereby she'll also still need three-bedrooms.

You may think a 50-50% split is fair. It's a starting point, although it may be awarded 70%-30% in her favour. If a judge decided that she needed pension etc; (and doesn't have enough work years left to save for one if she did get a good job), then she could be awarded a larger share of the house.

CSA guidelines for the kids welfare is 25% of your take-home pay for the 2 kids. Your wife can claim spousal support, because of her low income, and continued support from you. If she is capable of earning her own money (but isn't at the moment), a judge could order this support temporarilly.

If you post some more figures, (pensions, savings, equity in house etc) you might get a better idea of how it would be divided.
I'm not a legal person! We're all here pulling together our own shared experiences of how this system works, and there is no rules. A solicitor can only 'advise', and represent you, ultimately there is no set of rules outside of each others' needs being met.

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
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28 Oct 07 #5408 by OBEs 1 canoodly
Reply from OBEs 1 canoodly
Hi yer

Well I think you will find she is still entitled, on her wages as they stand at the moment, to remain in the home until the youngest child reaches 18. At that point I would assume that if she has a greater earning potential due to her degree then there would be no reason for her not to work and you would be in a better position to claim a 50/50 share in the property.

At this moment in time, if you were asking her to sell the property, the division of shares would probably go in her favour to be able to rehouse herself with the children if there is not enough equity in the house for both of your to be re-housed in a suitable property each at 50/50. You would be expected to take the lower percentage as you for the time being are the higher earner.

Only 18 months ago Me and my new partner (who was the divorcing person) were of the same belief about what is fair in the common sense of the word with regards to the 50/50 split until you start to grasp the legal way of thinking and unfortunately although it doesn't seem fair to you at the moment the more information you glean on this subject the more you will start to realise why the courts work in this way.

We still feel sore about the difference between what we feel was fair and what the courts saw as fair and its eventual outcome but the main thing in all of this is that we are now free to move on, we have each other and we have our health and that is better than any monetary benefit.........well, thats the way we make ourselves feel better other wise you would go nuts!!!!

Your main concern at the moment should be the welfare of your kids, not what you and your wife have presented them with. As long as they are ok for now, worry about your future once they of an age to persue their own lives. At that point you and your wife will be able to get on with yours too and probably be in a much better position financially.

Kind regards

OBEs 1

  • Sera
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28 Oct 07 #5410 by Sera
Reply from Sera
The 'legal way of thinking', encompasses everything, from every angle.

A man often mistakingly believes that because he put in '£X' then he gets back '£X'. The courts will see that if the wife stayed at home, or only contributed from a part-time salary, because of the kids..... then her own financial contributions were greatly reduced, BECAUSE she was home raising the kids. It could be argued that Mrs. Bluedots working career, (and savings and pensions etc) have been denied because of her taking care of their kids.

Obviously she's an intelligent lady, (degree!) which she's obviously yet to use in her new career path.
So, yes, her earning capability may (in her future) be an asset. But the courts will consider that her ability to save for Pensions etc thus far, have been affected, which is why they may favour a bigger settlement of assets on the division.

You can only split what is there. You can 'argue' that she has greater earning potential, but if she hasn't actually got a well-paid job, then that becomes just a fictisous sum of money, that isn't actually there to pay the bills!
My sister-in-law also just got a physcology degree, and was one of 50 applicants accepted (selected from 500!) that got a training post with an NHS hospital.
So a one-in-ten job opportunity isn't that great, and a well-paid position might take a few years.

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