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SAHM divorce, what am I entitled to?

(37 Posts)
pink28 Sun 16-Apr-17 12:20:17

It's been a long time coming but there's no other way, divorce is the only route out of this life.

My first concern is our 2 children 7&14, his first concern is how much money he's going to lose!

I suggest we try and do things without to much solicitor involvement to try and keep costs down. He immediately starts badgering me for an answer to how much I want. He thinks 50/50 would be 'morally' right but I'm not so quick to agree. I don't want to short change my children or myself. I'm not money grabbing I just want what I'm entitled to. Any ideas?

I've been a SAHM since we had children, this has allowed H to work without worrying/sharing the child care responsibilities. He can go abroad at the drop of a hat and finish work when he wants. We have a joint mortgage and a couple of cars. All savings are in his name. I have absolutely nothing. I have lived depending financially on him for almost 20yrs (married 6) I do worry about how on earth all this will work out. My son has special needs and I don't want to uproot him but even with a job I could fit around the children there's no way I can afford to stay in this house.

Anyone with experience of this from the point of view of being a SAHM?

MrsBertBibby Sun 16-Apr-17 14:02:05

You need to see a solicitor to get a decent picture.

Graceflorrick Sun 16-Apr-17 14:05:07

You need legal advice OP. With 50% of everything will you be able to buy a smaller house mortgage free, that would make a big difference.

Bloggybollocks Sun 16-Apr-17 14:13:16

You will be entitled to more than 50/50. In your situation it will be more like 70/30. Particularly if you gave up paid employment to be a sahm. Savings being in his name does not matter, that money is a marital asset, ditto his pension, but in regards to pensions you will only be entitled to a percentage for the number of years you have been married, not together.
You won't have 'nothing', let your DH worry about money, you have to think of it as him v's you and your 2 children so 50/50 isn't anywhere like fair. Get a good solicitor, he may also have to pay you spousal support. Will the children be with the the majority of time or he wanting 50/50 custody?

Passthebiscuitspls Sun 16-Apr-17 14:29:48

I also think it would be more 70:30 in your favour. I'm in exactly the same situation and that's what my solicitor has advised me.
Go and get some advice. Lots of solicitors do a free half an hour so you won't be charged and you'll have a better idea of where you stand. Good luck. X

SillySongsWithLarry Sun 16-Apr-17 14:42:03

It won't be a 50/50 split. The split is fair, not even. I had a higher percentage, I can't remember how much but it resulted in me keeping the house in full in return for no claim on his pension.

KP86 Sun 16-Apr-17 14:43:22

Watch that he doesn't 'spend' all those savings between now and settlement...

meditrina Sun 16-Apr-17 14:55:48

50/50 is more of a start point than a likely final settlement.

Yo really do need legal advice, but that is not a synonym for acrimonious.

You need to think about where the DC will live and how to establish two homes for them. It may not be realistic to expect to stay in the family home if he needs equity from it to finance his new property (which wil, need to be big enough for when DC are with him).

Can either of you afford to buy the other out?

Also, you need to look at the total marital assets - savings, major listens like cars etc - and also debts. But the biggie is pension. As a SAHM your pot is probably way lower than his, and you could look at either a sharing order or foregoing your (potential) share of it in return for a higher share in the house. Or whatever.

Have you actually done a muster of what you own and owe?

JanetBrown2015 Sun 16-Apr-17 17:20:22

Coudl you afford to stay in the house with the special needs child if your husband were paying spousal maintenance to you to help you pay the mortgage and maintenance for the chlld (with house only to be sold when you remarry or cohabit)? or will the house definitely have to be sold?

pink28 Sun 16-Apr-17 17:40:50

I honestly have no idea about any of this, it's so daunting, I've been 'living' in a controlled bubble for most of my life, I haven't a clue

ohforfoxsake Sun 16-Apr-17 19:08:37

I have 70:30 of the house, the right to live here until youngest is 21 (I wanted 23). I have a portion of his pension.

His ability to earn will increase, he will continue to be able to pay into his pension etc etc. Bonuses, pay increases etc.

The pension is really important. You need to think about how you will live in retirement. You could offset this against the house so for example not take any pension and have 100% of the house.

You MUST get a good solicitor, who you feel comfortable with. Don't cut corners, it's a false economy.

We did our negotiation through mediation. Then used a solicitor to do the court order. Both the mediator and the solicitor were great. It was very much about taking baby steps and working out something which felt fair.

Entitledto.com for benefit entitlement. First thing to do is call for the Tax Credit forms.

I prepared a very thorough budget of expenditure and needs. This was the basis of the maintenance payment. Everything needs to be on there, including provision for high school trips, Christmas presents, absolutely everything.

If you have life insurance, critical illness etc it's important to maintain these.

It is overwhelming, I know, but you do come out the other side.

pink28 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:36:18

I can't possibly stay in the house, can I? I wouldn't be able to afford the bills etc

It's a big house more than I need but the location is perfect for my sons needs which is why we bought it 2yrs ago.

What can I expect my H to pay for? Will I be forced to work? I'm not work shy at all but the main reason I don't work is so I can be there for the children.

ohforfoxsake Mon 17-Apr-17 07:59:47

It is possible, depending on your circumstances. How much he earns, the custody split, assets, savings, pension. Don't just assume 50:50. If you have the children most of the time, if he buys another place etc.

I stayed on in the house, XH still pays the mortgage via maintenance. The maintenance he pays covers pretty much the main things. The children live with me 98% of the time. He never wanted a place big enough to accommodate them.

When the oldest reaches 18 or leaves full time education, the payments start to lessen. When the youngest is 21 I know I need to sell up and get my own place with my share. I have this proportion of the house because XH has his flat, so it works out fair.

I'm lucky in that XH has a good salary. I was savvy enough to play fairly hard ball at negotiations. Long time it's not great, but I managed a deal which meant minimum disruption to the children.

If you do have to move, bear in mind this will mean a fresh start for you. A place to call your own which is exclusive of XH. That is a positive.

I would recommend mediation. It was hugely beneficial. It's not therapy, so not a Place for emotions, it's about assets, facts and figures. A pension advisor cost about £300 to sort that out. Solicitor fees were less because all the hard work was done at mediation. XH paid for the fees. I was too tight to give me half the savings, so said he'd use the money on fees instead. Backfired massively as the fees outstripped the savings.

ohforfoxsake Mon 17-Apr-17 08:07:57

As a starting point, go through the last few months bank statements and compile a budget of what you've been spending. From utilities to a kids hair cut. Every small thing.

In my case, XH couldn't argue with figures in black and white.

Go on entitledto.com and get an idea of your benefit situation. Get the forms asap.

Give yourself wriggle room, ask for more than you need. It's a negotiation.

Don't just assume 18 is the cut off for support either.

I know I'm really, really lucky in the outcome of mine, but all this helped me get to the best situation I could for the DCs.

Solasum Mon 17-Apr-17 08:17:01

Unless you are approaching retirement age, it makes sense for you to at least start working. As I understand, courts are increasingly favouring lump sum payments rather than ongoing spousal maintenance.

It is 11 years until your youngest leaves home. You will be in a far better position workwise if you don't have a gap of that length on your CV, plus the time you have already had out. You don't want to be penniless.

meditrina Mon 17-Apr-17 09:01:40

Yes, you will be expected to work, just as any other single parent is expected to work these days.

But, two things to consider

a) your DS's special needs - does he receive DLA/PIP and do you receive carer's allowance?
b) the length of the marriage - you said about 20 years, but for how many of these have you not worked? It does seem quite likely that you would be awarded spousal maintenance for a transition period to allow you to train/seek work. I agree with the previous poster who says that SM is only really awarded for long periods these days for women who are approaching retirement or who have retired (and in those cases pension-splitting might be a major issue)

But do remember that those are general pointers of things to consider and trends of what happens in settlements. You really need your own legal advice, including now at the outset.

Have you decided residency arrangements for the DC - is he proposing 50/50 for that too?

Bumblebeeinflight Mon 17-Apr-17 09:06:08

I agree with the posters who mention how important the pension is, yes to mediation too.
The fees will start to really rack up over the most mundane things, let alone if it gets acrimonious.

pink28 Mon 17-Apr-17 09:19:33

I do receive DLA and Carers allowance for my son. Nothing has been mentioned about custody of the children only money! He loves his job to much to change anything that would disrupt that. Not sure what 50/50 regarding children actually means.

ohforfoxsake Mon 17-Apr-17 09:40:31

Shared care, it could
Be half the week with you, half with him. Or alternate weeks (I have a friend who manages this successfully). You'd probably need to downsize and have comparable housing.

MrsBertBibby Mon 17-Apr-17 09:45:00

Pink please see a solicitor. No one can advise you properly without knowing a huge amount of information that you can't possibly post on here.

pink28 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:12:12

I definitely will see a solicitor I think I'd be mad not to, I just want to know what to expect, it's a lot to take in. I don't want to get anything wrong.

bugattiveyron Mon 17-Apr-17 11:17:20

We sold the house and I got all the proceeds after the mortgage was cleared.

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 17-Apr-17 11:21:09

If you are a carer you will not need to work. You will receive IS minus about £35 also carers allowance and tax credits £60 plus another £60 if middle rate dla £80 if high rate, and also CB.

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 17-Apr-17 11:22:01

So between approx £235 and £255 a week.

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 17-Apr-17 11:23:23

Sorry missed the second child so add on £60 and £21 ( did the CB at the lower rate in the first calculation) .
So between £316 and £336 a week.

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