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Can anyone help me figure out my financial future as a divorcee remarrying?

(22 Posts)
Otterspotter Sat 21-Nov-20 11:09:57

I was wondering if anyone could help me navigate some sensible plans for my financial future. I feel pretty clueless about it, which annoys me, and don’t really have any family or friends who are particularly knowledgeable about this stuff either so would very much appreciate some non-biased advice.

So, I’m a divorcee with 2 children, nearly 9 and 5. The divorce was resolved pretty amicably, we sold the family home (in London), which meant I was able to afford to buy outright a 3 bed terraced house outside of London. Exh is a good earner so I receive a decent amount of child maintenance.

I have recently become engaged to my new partner, also a divorcee with 2 children. His children stay 1 night a week and every other weekend. Obviously I would not be dreaming about getting married again unless I thought this was really it this time but equally I’m not a complete fantasist and know there can be unforeseen things that come up in the future.

So I have two things I need to consider the implications of- getting married (not til 2022) and buying a house together.

We would like to move to a bigger house in the near future since both my and his children are now sharing a room with a set of bunks each. My house is currently worth about £300k. The type of house we need would probably be about £450-500k.

My fiancé doesn’t own a property but is earning well and able to save about £4-5k/month.

The options I see buying a house together are waiting for him to save a decent amount and:
*Buying outright and getting something written up about the proportion of the house that we each own
*putting equal amounts in, for example £150k and then him taking out a mortgage solely in his name on the shortfall. I could then invest the remaining money in a flat for example, which could provide an income

Incidentally I am still a sahm, my fiancé is fully in support of this. The only thing I worry about in terms of this is that I have no plan for my pension and only actually worked for 5 years before having children so I wonder if the second option would be good in terms of providing an income for me in older age?

I think my two children will need to be having separate rooms within a couple of years since my older is a boy and younger a girl.

I also don’t really know what the best way of addressing all these issues is. Should we get a prenup written? Should we just get something written about our future house?

If anyone has any advice at all it would be gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Cordillera Sat 21-Nov-20 11:26:41

Having a flat as an investment is a great idea and as a SAHM you would have time to manage it yourself and not pay an agent.

When you buy a house you can choose to own it as tenants in common- have a google of that. It means you decide what percentage of the house you each own, and you can choose to leave that portion to your children in your will. This can be drawn up by a solicitor and worded such that it takes precedence over a marriage contract. You could change to joint tenants at a later date should you wish for any reason.

In terms of pension, you will still have something like 20 years to work once your children are grown up so would still get a small pension.

One other thing to note is that your husband becomes liable for the tax payment for child benefit. So if you have child benefit and he's a high earner he has to pay back the total of child benefit through his tax every year. I chose to renounce child benefit to simplify things but there are good reasons to keep claiming it which you should look into.

Fifthtimelucky Sat 21-Nov-20 11:28:15

I'm not sure why you would only put in £150k if the amount you need to spend on a new house is £450-500k? Wouldn't it be better to split it 50:50 than you owning a third or less?

You would put your half in in cash, he would put in as much cash as he could and would get a mortgage for the rest.

It seems a bit odd to expect your husband to pay for 2/3 of the new house when his children are not there nearly as often as yours.

As your children are presumably both at school I would also be looking to get a job, part-time perhaps, to ensure a pension in the future.

Otterspotter Sat 21-Nov-20 12:02:34

I guess the thought of putting the same amount in each was that it would be equal, but you’re right it wouldn’t be equal at all if he then took out a mortgage to cover the shortfall would it. Maybe we should aim to own 50/50 which might just leave me with £50k that I could invest in some other way?

Would it be a risk at all him having a mortgage in his name?

OP’s posts: |
StoneColdBitch Sat 21-Nov-20 12:41:15

Leaving aside retirement, how do you plan to have an income once your youngest is 18 and you no longer get child maintenance? I think being a SAHM in your circumstances leaves you very vulnerable in all kinds of ways and I think you should look at getting a part-time job.

Re: the house, I'd suggest you talk to a solicitor - tenants in common is likely a good starting point.

Is your fiancé saving £4-5k a month because he's living with you rent-free? Does he contribute financially at all?

Letseatgrandma Sat 21-Nov-20 12:46:42

This is quite complicated. How do you pay bills/food/living expenses if you don’t work?

Otterspotter Sat 21-Nov-20 12:55:56

I was receiving spousal maintenance due to stopping my career to be sahm. When we sold the fmh my ex was in support of us leaving London and I needed a few years to support the transition of the children moving away from everything they new. I had planned to be working part time by about now but the Corona virus hit, and since one of my dc’s was struggling a bit emotionally prior to that, it hasn’t felt like the right time to be returning to work. New partner will be able to save and contribute financially, he’s just doing well at the moment

OP’s posts: |
StoneColdBitch Sat 21-Nov-20 13:46:51

Are you still receiving spousal maintenance? Will that stop when you start cohabiting? Even if that isn't written into the order, your ex may well go back to court and ask to stop paying spousal maintenance if you're living with a new partner...

StoneColdBitch Sat 21-Nov-20 13:48:10

Did you not get any pension sharing as part of the divorce?

Otterspotter Sat 21-Nov-20 14:25:56

All issues around the spousal maintenance are sorted thanks StoneColdBitch. And no, I didn’t get any pension sharing as we were both happy with the resolution of our finances with me having enough to buy a house outright for me and the children

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Mumisnotmyonlyname Sat 21-Nov-20 16:49:03

You need a solicitor as the implications of marrying may trump any private arrangements, from what I've read. I'm not an expert, however.

Grobagsforever Sat 21-Nov-20 16:52:41

You absolutely need a job, you cannot possibly rely on someone who isn't even the father of your children to support you!

Otterspotter Sat 21-Nov-20 18:14:34

I fully intend to get a job but it doesn’t feel the right time to do it right now and everyone is in support of this. I’m hoping for advice regarding the options in my OP

OP’s posts: |
Monkeypeas Sat 21-Nov-20 19:21:22

Absolutely not an expert but I would suggest not buying a house until after you are married (a year or two isn’t too long for the kids to still share).
Which gives you time to get a job if you start looking after Christmas.

Your house will probably have gone up in value by then but assuming figures are the same you could look to buy a £500k house with your fiancé (or by then husband) as Tenants in common.

You put in £200k cash and get a mortgage for £50k he puts in whatever deposit he has saved up plus (most likely a bigger) mortgage of his own.

You use your tensing £100k to buy so where to rent out, doesn’t need to be near to you, and you use the rental income to pay into a pension along with earnings from your soon to be acquired job.

In retirement you also have the rented Property to sell should you need more money or you have that plus your half of your home to leave to your children and fiancé / husband has his half to leave to his children

Otterspotter Sun 22-Nov-20 11:25:05

Thank you Monkeypeas. This sounds like it could be a good plan. In all honesty I don’t think I will be working within the next year. Maybe 2 years. But perhaps this plan or a variation of it could work

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PicsInRed Sun 22-Nov-20 11:35:16

Do not give up the child benefit, if you aren't working, that is your NI towards your pension.

If your fiance ends up having to pay more tax, so be it, but do not give it up.

Otterspotter Sun 22-Nov-20 12:00:28

I think I did this before when I was with my ex- I opted out of receiving the child benefit money but was still registered so it still counted towards NI contribution

OP’s posts: |
MargaretHooper Sun 22-Nov-20 12:17:56

You need to speak to a professional, to analyse the options and the implications of each option. Also to discuss making a will. What happens if you or your partner die suddenly? You need to think about protecting your children in terms of guardianship, and also inheritance.

It is complicated, and the sensible thing to do is speak to a financial advisor, and then a solicitor (not us on Mumsnet - we aren't regulated in any way!)

PicsInRed Sun 22-Nov-20 12:24:00

Good work OP - this can also help in the future with who is primary parent for the purposes of housing and benefits should you ever need it (if you have a difficult father to kids).

Do also consider your present asset position and any future expected inheritance before marrying - especially as inheritance isn't reserved to the recipient in England and Wales (assuming you're in E&W). Spousal maintenance is almost never awarded anymore so depending on how your fiance structures his financial affairs, you and you kids could be in a worse position through marriage.

ireallyamthewalrus Sun 22-Nov-20 12:36:42

Are you planning to have a child/children together?

Otterspotter Sun 22-Nov-20 13:15:07

It’s a maybe at the moment ireallyamthewalrus. Probably 50/50. We feel we might regret not doing so as we would love to have a child together in many ways but there are many lifestyle reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea

OP’s posts: |
Otterspotter Mon 23-Nov-20 19:52:51

@PicsInRed just rating your response back. What does it mean ‘inheritance isn’t reserved to the recipient’ please?

OP’s posts: |

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