Fair settlement?(8 Posts)
I think my wife is looking to divorce me. She seems very unhappy and is a SAHM. Never really worked. I work from home. I earn £60K .
I was trying to get an idea of what kind of settlement would be fair.
We have a UK house with around £50K equity. A foreign property with around £85K equity. Savings are low so around £12K. Although she's took all this now out of the bank account (account was in her name). No pension.
We have 5 kids. I am very close to the children and do a lot of the looking after them as I work from home (half the school runs, make tea, shopping, dishwasher etc).
The children stay with me (I think she would be OK with this as she wants to go to college and generally get her life back). I give her a lump sum of £100K (I'd get this off my parents) and both houses stay with me so I have the liability to pay the mortgages and rights to occupy them. I wouldn't want any funds off her for maintenance etc and this would effectively be a clean break. She would have no claims to future earnings off me either.
Does this sound fair?
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You have £147k equity and the children would be living with you, so if it works out as you describe 50% of that would be more than fair.
However, she is still the children's parent and has had prime responsibility for them, and presumably would want them to be with her some of the time: it does sound a little bit as if you are trying to buy them off her.
Thanks for your response.
I'm glad that you also think it is fair. I take your point about it may sound like I'm trying to buy the kids. Obviously that's not my intention. I want to achieve a clean break as much as possible. She's not really had prime responsibility. At best its been 50/50. All of the children if asked would be likely to want to live with me. I want to pay an initial lump sum, keep the kids lives the same as much as possible, and avoid any future financial claims. Yes she could see them whenever she wanted and that is something that I'd encourage. She's already said that she's starting a college course in Sept and will be out daily from 9-5 so I'd have to do everything then anyway.
I would sell the foreign property and use the equity to buy a second house nearby for whichever of you doesn't stay in the current family home. Then the children can split their time between the two homes. Much better for them to keep a high level of contact with both of you.
It will be a while before your wife can retrain and get a job which will earn anything comparable to you, if ever, so she will need a bigger chunk of the equity to enable her to pay for housing etc. Better to start with how much you both need and do it that way rather than picking random numbers. Do some research on house prices and her chances of getting a mortgage etc.
Thanks for your input - much appreciated.
I can see your point however to sell the foreign property we'd need to drop the value and then there would be selling costs etc so the equity would probably drop to £70K ish. In addition it would take time.
In addition if I offered her this it would be less than the £100K lump sum that' i'd be offering her now. I wouldn't sell the foreign property and offer her £100K as well and I don't think my parents would give me the £100K if that was the deal anyway.
I take your point about researching other properties. My view was that the £100K I offered was well over 50% of the total equity. Its actually a 75/25 split in her favour. In addition I'd bear all costs of children. She could then use the £100K to rent for a year or two, do her college course then get a job and still have plenty to put down as a deposit for a mortgage. So she'd be financially OK. She could get a nice semi detached house around here for around £180K.
I'm not sure how it works in the uk but I don't think she can just pay nothing even if they reside principally with you. You might be able to choose to have nothing - I have but I'm in france.
Minimum visits would normally be every other weekend and one weeknight. So 4 nights for her and 10 for you.
You could see a mediator to discuss an agreement that you both find acceptable.
I personally would pay for at least one solicitors appointment (find someone recommended) to find out different potential scenarios. Then I would live with that knowledge for a bit to work out how I felt about it.
A very common mistake is making an agreement for now without really thinking about 5 or 10 years down the road with the kids.
One thing though don't think you can just change any legal agreement in the future. It's way harder than lawyers would have you believe. Normally what gets decreed now sticks until the kids are around 13.
Wally - I am divorced and my exh doesn't pay me any maintenance and our dd lives with me. As long as your wife agrees to the money and visits it is up to you both.
I do agree you are guessing how your wife will react but you know her a lot better than we do!!! On the face if it you are being very generous - when it comes down to it, will your wife agree?
I hope you manage to keep it all very amicable - your dc are going to be affected whether they stay with you or not. They will pick up more than you think - depending on ages, from experience, be as honest as you can with then and be prepared for questions. Good luck!
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