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How much % of his salary am I entitled to?

(47 Posts)
pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 13:29:52

Also posted in divorce.

Just beginng the process of divorce on the grounds of his adultery (hidden for 16 months).

We have 4 children aged 6, 4, 2 and 10 months.

We have no investments, no property, nothing (he was shit with money and spent quite a bit on OW).

He is offering me 62% of his income plus 50% of any bonuses he receives. What about his pension, am I entitled to that. I am 40 this year and gave up my career to have our family.

Do any of you have any experience of this. 62% of the pot when I will have 5 people to pay for seems low. I was thinking more like 69%. Any thoughts?

We are about to start mediation but I wanted to just ask if anyone here had any experience or advice.

Married for 8.5 years. I worked until we had our first child.


RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 13:44:42

40 is still quite young & in 5 years time when your youngest is school aged you could still have 25 years of work ahead of you!

Is he a high earner because that is a big percentage he is offering you _ CSA would only want 25%. Who owns the family home & what equity/mortgage is there?

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 13:47:42

Sorry, just seen no property. Can he manage with OW on the 31% you propose is left?

I think the figures seem pie in the sky & in reality a few years downe line you will be lucky to have a third.

pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 13:51:18

Yes a high earner. So was clearing £8k per month.

pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 13:53:30

Sorry I realise it all probably sounds mad to you. We are in central london tho renting and for a small 3 bed house is £3k per month.

pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 13:54:20

I would have to pull the kids out of their good state school in order to move to a cheaper/different area. That means new friends, new surroundings etc.

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 14:09:55

I have a feeling he will go along with what you say then in a years time will revert to the CSA. Check the website because for higher earners the rules are different. 2/3 of £8000 leaves him with around 2500 to rent his own place with enough space for the kids to stay, travel to work, clothes, bills food etc so sounds tight to me given that he hasn't managed to save any money when you only had onel lot of bills & rent to pay for.

blibbleflop Tue 19-Mar-13 14:14:48

Not a lawyer take with a grain of salt

62% is a massive percentage, if he's offering that and thinks it can work I would snap his hand off. With regards to the Divorce his pension would (probably) be treated as a marital asset and would be split accordingly. The only thing I'd say is be careful with this one, he may not be so happy to give you such a big maintenance payout if he thinks you're being greedy.

As for the maintenance, he's only required to pay £500 per week if he's pulling £2k P/W. This amount is assuming he has the children for one day a week or less and has no children with O/W. This would drop to £425/400/375 per week if he had 1/2/3 children with O/W. Again it would also drop if he had the kids more than 1 night a week.

Whatever money he gives you he still has to put a roof over his own head suitable for the children to spend the night at. Long term I don't think that 62% is a workable percentage and you should probably negotiate it lower in the hopes that he'll keep it up for longer.

pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 14:17:40

RedHelen yes it will be tight but he has the potential to earn more. He is also offering 50% of all bonuses. If I did get this agreement how many years can I get him to sign up for without renegotiation? Thanks

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 15:57:45

No more than one without CSA involvement. Plus, he can go back to court & argue his needs are greater at any time. I think the pension split would just be for the 8.5 years of marriage too.

What on earth was all the money spent in when you were together? I can't see him willing to bust a gut to live a massively inferior life & would be very surprised if he was paying anything like 62% in two years time.

Collaborate Tue 19-Mar-13 16:32:49

I hope no offence is taken, but it never ceases to amaze me how authoritative sounding some advice given on these boards can be when many have no legal qualifications and there is simply insufficient information by which a qualified lawyer would be willing to stick their neck out.

mumblechum1 Tue 19-Mar-13 17:45:12

grin at Collaborate who said what I was thinking!

OP, you really need to go and see a solicitor, but as a guideline, you are entitled to 25% of your husband's net income for child mtce.

You may or may not get something on top of that for yourself but that will usually be short term for around 5 to 7 years imo.

If you do agree global maintenance at 69% or whatever, he could go to the CSA after 12 months and ask that they do an assessment, which will be 25%.

nannyof3 Tue 19-Mar-13 17:50:31

Ur not entitled to any bonus' so his doing u a favour..

nannyof3 Tue 19-Mar-13 17:51:01

Csa is only 25%

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 17:55:06

If there were assets involved Collaborate I would agree with you but given that he could jack his job in, become freelance etc it could well be that a lot of non existent money ( no savings or property) could be spent on lawyers for little purpose. OP has already said they are starting mediation soon.

Gigondas Tue 19-Mar-13 18:01:50

Agree with collaborate- see a lawyer as this is massively complex. What he pays for kids is one thing (CSa rules are one thing but you can agree something outside this and it may often be more than CSa amount but it has to be agreed).

the whole issue of how you split income if you have no assets in a high income case is complex. Pension sharing is also something that needs experience.

please find someone with experiences in this area as you aren't going to find it on the net and with a few exceptions, most people on Mn are unlikely to be dealing with similar background.

pinkypig Tue 19-Mar-13 18:09:15

Thanks folks for all your messages. I do have a solicitor and am seeing her as soon as she fixes me an apt.
Many Thanks

Collaborate Tue 19-Mar-13 18:44:09

RedHelen: if you actually knew what you were advising about you would be aware of the Parlour judgment and how that would affect the advice that any decent lawyer would give. To sound as confident as you do when people might take heed of what you say us worrying. I hope you don't do something similar on any medical threads. At least we're not messing with people's health here - only their wealth.

sicutlilium Tue 19-Mar-13 18:49:10

Collaborate I do wish that MN had a like button. McFarlane as well?

mumblechum1 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:52:49

LIKE (Collaborate) grin. Yes, sicutlilium, Miller and McFarlane I would have thought, too

No personal experience but my friends who have been through this have been told that (however much of a cheater and/or liar) their ex is, a partner paying maintainence can't be left unable to support themselves and one income which supports one family in a lifestyle will not by some magic means support two family units in the same lifestyle. You need legal advice but tbh I would snap his arm off at 62% plus an ongoing share of bonuses. Just understand that it's a level that's likely to drop big time over the next few years.

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 19:09:57

As their is a disclaimer in both medical & legal boards on mumsnet then you needn't worry!! People use these boards to get a general picture & to gain experiences otherwise they would tootle off to the drs or the lawyers. No one knows who anybody is on the internet & i don't take it as face value that you are a lawyer though i am sure you are. When I divorced the experiences of others going through it helped me enormously & meant that I could be very focused when with my solicitor.

BUT, no one would enjoy having 7/10 of their salary going elsewhere & even if a court ruled such a thing it is unlikely to be a l less stressful job, going freelance or just paying bits & pieces. Look at the number of CSA threads to see how little NRP's adhere to the notion of paying maintenance especially wehre OW are inviolved!!!

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 19:11:01

Oh & I totally agree with Northern.

RedHelenB Tue 19-Mar-13 19:13:45

there not their!!

babybarrister Tue 19-Mar-13 20:59:28

That is again incorrect advice on here re bonus - you may be able to take a share re spousal maintenance . Please find a lawyer ... Have a look on resolution websitesmile

babybarrister Tue 19-Mar-13 21:02:06

Oh and agree with collaborate who yes is a v experienced family lawyer as am I!!!

Collaborate Tue 19-Mar-13 21:14:37

Don't know why I bothered doing 3 years law degree, 1 year law society finals, 2 years training contract then 20 years in practice with continuing education, when all along all I needed to do was either go through a divorce myself or have a close friend who did, then I would have known enough to be able to dispense advice with confidence and authority.

mercibucket Tue 19-Mar-13 21:42:20

yes, collaborate, had your goal in doing those qualifications been simply to post on mumsnet, i think those years were perhaps wasted

ladymuckbeth Tue 19-Mar-13 22:02:34

RedHelen - I have to say that you are one of those posters who manages to make your posts have the appearance of professional experience, without actually saying that you are a layman. You posted on a thread I did a few weeks back under a different name, and managed to make me feel quite dreadful about my circumstances.

Nobody minds ordinary Joes giving their experiences; it's when they do so whilst using slightly grandiose language which is suggestive of some sort of higher knowledge which must be more than grating to the lawyers who contribute on these boards.

wannaBe Tue 19-Mar-13 22:42:38

I only have experience of this from a personal pov i.e. I am currently going through a divorce.

Firstly, the reasons for the divorce are irrelevant - the only reason why people file for adultery, unreasonable behavior etc is because it enables the process to move more quickly. Otherwise you would have to wait for two years. But from a financial perspective it makes no difference why the marriage broke down.

Secondly, there is a difference between child maintanence and spousal maintanence. Your dh is legally obliged to pay child maintanence, and I don't have the exact figures to hand but check the CSA website because there is a starting point but this also then alters according to the number of nights per week your children spend with their father.

There is also spousal maintanence and this can vary esp if, say, you have given up your career in order to raise a family, but the norm is certainly not as high as 69% afaik. Also any spousal maintanence would only apply until you remarried or cohabited with another partner at which point that would cease and your ex would only be liable for child maintanence. He could also apply too the court to reduce this sum if his circumstances changed.

Wrt his pension you could claim entitlement to half of that but bear in mind that that half would be as it stands now not at his retirement age, it would be frozen and half paid to you on retirement.

Now this is all very well but

While you are raising children it is understandable that you will require some level of financial support. However, once your youngest is school age you will be in a position to find workk and begin to financially support yourself. Ask yourself - why would you want to remain financially dependent on someone with whom you no longer seek to have a relationship? Wrt his pension - you have another twenty/thirty years in which to acumulate your pension, doo you really think it fair that you should still be entitled to half his pension thirty years down the line?

My personal view is that while the initial period after a divorce is difficult and you will require financial support to rebuild your life, esp as a current sahm to four young children financial independence should be the ultimate aim. You want this man out of your life for a reason - as long as he supports his children, you should only seek to be "entitled" to spousal maintanence for as long as it takes you to gain your own independence financially. After all, his circumstances may change. He may lose his job or remarry and have other children to support, or fall ill or any number of other unforeseen things. And what then? An "entitlement" can only last for as long as there is something to be entitled to, iyswim.

In my own position my ex has been very reasonable (I won't go into details here as frankly it's not really anyone's concern), but I haven't made a claim on any of his bonuses or his pension as I feel that is just a bit grabbing iyswim. My aim is to build my own business and to gain my own financial independence by the end of the year. People tell me I should be "going after" hmm a lot more, but why should I? As long as he's supporting his child I don't see why he should be expected to support me for the rest of all eternity. I've got my equity from the house etc so I haven't sold myself shourt in terms of division of assets, it just seems wrong to me to expect money for as long as I can get my hands on it. Now I will just state at this point that I haven't made a specific date for the end of the year for xh not to support me, but I wish this to be the case for both our sakes. He shouldn't have to struggle financially any more than I should.

STIDW Wed 20-Mar-13 01:23:59

I'm not a lawyer but I don't like the word "entitlement." Rather divorce settlements are about sharing assets "fairly" therefore complying with the law.

RedHelenB wrote;

"even if a court ruled such a thing"

I'm not saying it is the case here but I know of cases where spouse maintenance has been awarded at 30-40% of the payer's income and they have paid child maintenance and school fees on top so it certainly is possible for courts to rule such a thing.

wannaBe wrote;

As long as he's supporting his child I don't see why he should be expected to support me for the rest of all eternity. I've got my equity from the house etc so I haven't sold myself shourt in terms of division of assets, it just seems wrong to me to expect money for as long as I can get my hands on it.

It's important to remember everybody's circumstances are different. In the OP's case there isn't any equity to share and it is no more dependent using SM to house the four children and herself than you using your equity. It isn't likely she will be able to earn as much as her husband and it doesn't seem very fair to me that the children should be expected to live with one parent very modestly most of the time and in relative luxury when staying with the other parent. Fortunately in England & Wales there is an element of sharing when determining SM.

BTW SM must stop on remarriage but I think you will find it doesn't necessarily terminate on cohabitation.

OP, I don't know how you arrived at your figure but please see a solicitor for independent advice to find out where you stand and what options there are in your particular circumstances. Hopefully you can then negotiate an agreement from an informed position.

babybarrister Wed 20-Mar-13 03:41:22

I do respect opinions on non lawyers re their own divorces but always worth remembering that the lawyers on here will have had experience of hundreds or thousands of divorces ....grin

mercibucket Wed 20-Mar-13 08:39:48

if of course they are lawyers grin

personally i would put no more weight on 'im a lawyer and...' than i would on ' im not a lawyer but ....' on an online forum, and imo that is the sensible thing to do.

Collaborate Wed 20-Mar-13 08:53:21

I agree. Anyone would be mad to actually rely on advice from someone anonymous.

I think though we all have a duty to be sure about what we post.

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 21:41:11

nannyof3 you are quite wrong about the bonuses. Cash bonuses are deemed income (and deferred bonuses are unvested shares are income in the year they vest) and therefore liable to be included in a child maintenance assessment as well as any spousal maintenance that may be awarded. On £8k net a month the OP's STBXH is on a gross salary of over £150k and with pre-school children and a 10 year marriage it is inconceivable that the OP would not be awarded spousal maintenance (at least until youngest child in school)in addition to child maintenance.

<lawyer> <also divorced>

MOSagain Thu 21-Mar-13 17:03:25

Agree with collaborate, mumblechum and babybarriser all of whom are qualified and extremely experienced lawyers specialising in family law. Mumblechum is also experienced in writing wills and has her own will writing business. Please see ad in small businesses.

Due to insinuations made by a poster several months ago a number of us lawyers (yes, I'm one too) undertook a 'verifying' exercise and are able to vouch for each other. I have seen evidence that the above-mentioned posters are indeed qualified lawyers and at least two of them can vouch for my qualifications. Of course, you could just believe that we are all lying but to be honest, I think we have far better things to do than pretend to be something we are not.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 21-Mar-13 17:23:16

Merci I think you have been a little unfair to the lawyers who have posted here. Many of these lovely ladies often take time to look up and then post about certain cases that offer a particular point of law. They do this out of the goodness of their hearts and many people would be in a worse position were it not for them.
Mumblechum I can personally voucher for as she wrote my will.

babybarrister Thu 21-Mar-13 18:52:28

Some of them are actually mengringrin

mumblechum1 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:30

Lonecat Thank you! Hope all's well with you and yours smile

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 21-Mar-13 20:33:17

Oops sorry. All is well thank you.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Thu 21-Mar-13 20:39:53

CSA would take £500 per week, currently that's the maximum

babybarrister Thu 21-Mar-13 21:18:14

There are two elements - spousal and child maintenance - if DH earns a lot then it is not the CSA that would deal with child maintenance. £500 is not a cap

pinkypig Thu 21-Mar-13 21:39:21

Thanks folks. Baby what do you mean '£500 is not a cap'?

I have just been googling 'consent order' which by what I can see makes the financial arrangement (for CM and SM) legally binding. Ex is claiming he will pay the agreed amount until youngest finishes full time ed. So that could be 20 years! I will be 60 by then.

Any experience (still waiting for apt to see solicitor).


STIDW Thu 21-Mar-13 22:53:40

Currently the CSA will only assess child maintenance on the first £2k net income per week. However the court can order top up payments for higher earners earning more.

Collaborate Thu 21-Mar-13 23:22:43

Either parent can replace court ordered child maintenance with CSA maintenance after a year. Beware therefore inflated offers of child maintenance. Anything above the CSA max (based on his income) should be spouse maintenance.

evansthebread Thu 21-Mar-13 23:51:13

With regards to the comments here (and other postings) made by qualified solicitors about OPs and others taking layman's or "experienced" people's advice - I'm so with you.

My divorce circumstances were very unusual, and although most of my friends had already divorced and amassed various experiences between them, none of them had the knowledge of the points of law that my particular divorce required.

RedHelenB Fri 22-Mar-13 07:05:58

Will ex still be in his high earning job for 20 years realistically? By taking almost 70% of his earnings he would be left with a below average wage for London & you have to think, does he enjoy his job so much that that won't matter? If he gets into debt by carrying on a lifestyle he can no longer afford ( you say he's not good with money) then he would have to reduce the money he pays as spousal maintenance (should be via the court but might just reduce the amount unilaterally)

Best thing is for the pair of you to look at living accommodation for you both, bills etc & see what a realistic split is. After divorce you are paying for two households so cloth has to be cut accordingly so hopefully you will be able to agree something sustainable at mediation.

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