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Spousal Maintenance - Advice please

(6 Posts)
smilingeyes79 Sun 11-Jun-17 17:36:35

Looking for some thoughts / advice on behalf of DB. He and DSinlaw are heading towards a permanent split and divorce. Together 25yrs, married 21 with 2 x DC age 21 and 18. 1 in uni and other hoping to go in Sept.
DB is trying to gather his thoughts re house, pension etc as well as supporting both boys at university.
My question is regarding spousal maintenance... DSinlaw has said to him before she will want supporting after the split. Is this something the courts would agree on ?
She used to work as a beauty therapist before the kids and now works part time in a school. Part of the reason for the split is her reluctance to return to work full time and expect DB to fund everything with her money being spent on treats.
DB is thinking of offering the family house in full so he would keep his pension so a clean split. He would then pay for the boys uni accommodation and continue to support them. But does not feel it's fair to support DSinlaw as she can work full time but chooses not to.
Anyone able to suggest to SM would be given ?
Thank you

donners312 Sun 11-Jun-17 17:42:01

I doubt she will get spousal maintenance if he gave her the house. Both DC left the nest and he is supporting them and the onus will be on her to support herself esp as she is already working.

smilingeyes79 Sun 11-Jun-17 17:51:36

Thanks for your reply.
Neither love each other but she is starting to think she's entitled to more raising the boys and he's trying to keep things calm. Ultimately he wants the boys to have a home to go back to during holidays etc and doesn't want DSinlaw to have to rent or start again but he'd not be able to pay SM and start up again himself.

Minime85 Sun 11-Jun-17 19:04:53

I understand she may find it difficult to get back into full time work place if she has been out of it for some time. Professions move on and she might need to re train which can be daunting rather than simply just being able to go out and get a job like that.

I think if he gave house then he should get pension. But if she gave up career to raise children that is relevant.

I got house and gave exh £5k and he kept his pension. But my pension is seriously depleted as I worked part time for 7 yrs so solicitor did say I would have been able to claim on his pension too if I'd wanted to. But I'd didn't as I got house, which I do have a large mortgage on.

FlouncingInTheRain Sun 11-Jun-17 19:17:22

Honestly, it sounds like they both want it all. You can't take one pot, that's causing tension because it's a bit too small (i.e. her not working) and divide it into two bigger pots.

Sometimes it's good to try and write down the blunt realities, not the moral discussion:

If the house is a reasonable size and of reasonable asset value how will she fund the bills - heating, electric, council tax, running a car if it's not town centre, maintenance etc. A small part time salary isn't going to cover that and food, or is it? She's not going to get benefits if she's an empty nester. The house is unlikely to be something lovely for the DC to return too if she's living in poverty in it.

Selling/ valuing the house and valuing the pension pot accrued during the marriage (no doubt pretty much all of it to date) would be a good first step. That along with any savings gives a rough total marital assets pot. Roughly that then divides. I'd say (based on life, not professional experience) she's more likely to get over 50% of the pot value as she's been homemaker and has less future potential to earn at the same level as your DB. So say the pot is to be split 60/ 40 in her favour. Can your DB keep his pension and just start afresh? Or, is he better off letting her have a slice of it and getting a cash settlement from the house that becomes a deposit on another house.

It may be that he feels negotiating a small regular payment to her for X years and is a better arrangement than having her named on the pension.

Divorce starts off through mediation so having lots of options to table, being flexible but also realistic are important.

smilingeyes79 Sun 11-Jun-17 20:00:29

Thanks for those replies - plenty for me to show him.
I feel for them both, she has been a part of our lives for such a long time. I'm really hoping they can talk/write stuff down and find a way that is fair to both.

Just a side note, she has been offered full time he's albeit on a term time basis but she's reluctant. She has a nice routine seeing her friends and parents and I think this 'entitled' feeling is what narks BD who works f/t, coaches his sons sports team and tries to fit in helping our parents also.

So difficult seeing people you love start down this difficult road.

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