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Arranging finances while separated - prior to divorce

(5 Posts)
ladyoftmanor Thu 18-Jun-15 14:57:25

I am seriously considering instigating a separation from my DH with a view to eventually divorcing after a minimum of 2 years separation

As it will be my choice to separate and I imagine we will go for shared custody of DC then I am starting to lay plans with the assumption that it will be me that moves out of the family home - partly because that seems fairest but I'm also concerned that even if DH agrees to move out I would struggle to pay the bills on this house (big old 4 bed house) with just my salary

I am not hugely worried about finances in the event of divorce as think I would be entitled to a reasonable settlement eventually but I do worry about finances in the short term - e.g. While separated but not divorced. If equal custody of DC then assume no maintenance necessary. I earn a )ess than DH (he earns approx 10K gross per year more than me) and also has more assets (shares, savings etc in his name). If I move out then I will need furniture, household appliances etc too which worries me as my salary would probably cover the bills etc on a 3 bed semi or similar but would my leave any spare for buying crockery, bedding & all the other stuff I would need if starting a new household from scratch

Just wondering how others have managed to negotiate finances during a separation?

STIDW Thu 18-Jun-15 16:19:25

Moving out before the finances are settled can be fraught with problems and you would be well advised to seek legal advice beforehand. It isn't pleasant but separating spouse often both need to continue live together in the former matrimonial home.

First of all running two homes is a lot more expensive than living in one. Many divorcing couples run up large amounts of debt during separation and sometimes mortgage payments run into arrears so that the former matrimonial home is repossessed and sold below market value. That means a large amount of money can be lost and both parties' credit rating is damaged making it difficult or impossible to obtain a mortgage in the future.

Secondly the needs of the parties, in particular for housing, often comes at the top or near the top of the checklist of factors taken into account when separating. If you have rehoused it could be said your needs have been met.

Lastly if one spouse moves out the other spouse has sole use of the property and they may not be in a hurry to agree a settlement. If they procrastinate it can be difficult to move forwards in a timely manner.

A good mediator can help separating couples go through the figures to find a way forward that works for everyone for both the short and long term. However sometimes progress can be made more constructively and quickly once both parties have had some time to adjust to emotional realities of the separation.

ladyoftmanor Thu 18-Jun-15 16:55:15

When you say 'moving out before finances are settled' do you mean before divorce or just before you have come to a fair agreement about how finances will be managed once one party moves out?

I really don't fancy sharing a house while separated for two years! There should not be any need to sell the house as DH has enough in savings that he could pay me half the equity if he wants to stay put. The thing that worries me is that I don't suppose I would get my hands on this money until actually divorced so during the separation period I would need to live entirely on what I earn.

Surely most couples who eventually divorce don't both stay in the marital home until the divorce is finalised??

LotusLight Thu 18-Jun-15 16:57:35

We stayed in the home until I paid him a massive divorce settlement, until decree absolute and until property/mortgage transfers and most important of all sealed court financial consent order. It is legally advisable if you can stomach it. That took 7 months (you don't need to wait 2 years - any marriage in the country you can break up with an unreasonable behaviour petition which is just about never challenged by your other half).

Mumsnutter369 Sat 20-Jun-15 07:35:39

It doesn't have to be expensive to furnish a second home. I moved into a rented property with a fully fitted kitchen so had no appliances to buy except kettle, toaster and microwave (less than £100 in total.) Friends gave me beds for the kids and a table and chairs, and I bought second hand sofas for £250. I took our spare crockery, pots and pans, bedding etc. The one thing I did buy was a new bed for me for £300. You should get all the child benefit and tax credits if you have less income which will help. If you didn't qualify for tax credits on your joint income you may do on your sole income, and family and friends are often willing to donate furniture or household goods or help pay for them. Good luck :-)

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