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Settling finances

(5 Posts)
chuckingstones Sun 13-Mar-16 22:46:04

Quick background, we split a while ago, have two school age children and are settling after a bout of mediation. However the issue is I'm settling for about 25% of the equity (I understand that a normal percentage would be around 40%?), which I don't have a huge issue with (I obviously would like a fairer share) however my ex is trying to add all sorts of other stipulations like paying for half of school trips and things like out of school club trips too.

She's also wants a nominal spousal maintenance payment in place, wants to see my P60 each year to make sure I'm paying the right child maintenance but wants to close off all potential claims against her.

I want to ensure we have a complete clean break with nothing hanging over us, am I being unreasonable to say no to all these extra bits given that I'm taking a much smaller slice of the equity? Originally there was going to be a charge on the property but she decided she wanted a clean break therefore would buy me out of the house.

I was wondering what sort of agreements other parents had come to. I'm always fair about everything else - I pay the maintenance as per the CMS calculations, I buy bits and pieces for the kids (I only have them overnight every other weekend but I'm also thinking of asking for an overnight during the week on a Wednesday, is that fair too?).

Look forward to hearing from others!

DonAdrianodeArmado Wed 23-Mar-16 20:17:56

Being realistic you won't have a "completely clean break" in respect of the children if you are paying child maintenance (which is sounds like you should and will). In certain circumstances the amount of child maintenance may reasonably change (e.g. change in your income, inflation, reasonable additional costs etc.) but in addition to this there may be special circumstances in which you might feel you want to pay additional monies - e.g. a child needs a special service, medical treatment, additional support or whatever. You'll want your child to receive these things should the need arise and I'm sure you'd be happy to put your hand in your pocket should you be able to. So there is a need to be absolutely clear what you are paying child maintenance for: normal everyday expenses such as food, clothing, heat, light, hobbies, pastimes etc. Then there are holidays, tutoring, school trips, those sort of things. I think you'll need to be clear what you feel you are already paying for and what might reasonably be considered additional. (it also rather depends if you plan to pay for certain things directly, e.g. hobbies, holidays etc.) On the question of what is additional, be careful to ensure you have a say in what needs to be paid for. For example, if a school offers an optional school trip your wife could simply book a place on the basis that you should pay half. You might not feel the school trip is worthwhile so you prefer to decline to pay half. In this situation you might want to ensure your agreement is required before a financial obligation is made. That seems entirely reasonable to me.

As to your wife, having a "clean break" is conceivable but that seems inconsistent with the prospect of providing spousal support. A clean break in terms of spousal settlement means you organise your financial affairs on divorce and have no other financial ties. Clearly you will have financial ties in respect of the kids, but insofar as spousal support is concerned it is not a clean break if you pay her maintenance. Bear in mind: a nominal maintenance payment now could be reviewed and may get messy if your circumstances change. I suggest a clean break with part of your property/pension/whatever in lieu of maintenance. If you do end up paying maintenance then perhaps be sure to specify that you will cease paying should she cohabit with a new partner, remarry or whatever.

Good luck - these are difficult times for you.

timeforbed19 Mon 04-Apr-16 19:58:14

I think you are being perfectly reasonable, I am in a similar situation but my wife is refusing to face up to the realities of resolving the finances. After mediation which lasted 6 months she wants to stay in the family home but cannot raise the monies to buy me out. All the while I'm leaving in rented accommodation and racking up large credit card debts. I'm loathed to go back to mediation as she just buried her head in the sand and it was costly to achieve nothing. I am thinking of reducing my child payments to the CSA minimum to try and force the issue. I have been recommended to pay a nominal amount of spousal maintenance per year but I'm not clear on the reason as she has enough income to support herself. In mediation we agreed child maintenance and access but we are no further forward getting the consent order agreed.
In your position as mentioned previously , I would look to detail payments and agree future use. Good luck, it looks promising to me

peggyundercrackers Thu 14-Apr-16 07:14:50

What was the rain you took a smaller amount of the equity?

Why don't you share the kids 50:50? Once night a fortnight means you won't have much of a relationship.

Have you taken any legal advice at all? If not why not - your agreement sounds a little bit one sided if I may say so.

Leefr200 Wed 20-Apr-16 14:30:01

50:50 and make sure your kids are looked after to me that's the only way

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