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Dividing assets - is there any way I can keep the house?

(66 Posts)
anowlmostfoul Fri 01-Dec-17 20:37:39

I'm getting divorced, currently waiting for Decree Nisi. Doing all the work myself because I can't afford a solicitor. Soon we will have to agree on division of assets - I am worried about losing my home, is there any way I could keep it? Here are the facts:

Me: age 49, work part time, earn £8,500 per annum. I have ASD which makes full time work difficult.

Stbxh: age 59, works full time, earns 21,000 per annum. Will have contributed 21 years to university pension scheme upon retirement.

We have 2 children, 21 (at uni) and 17 (sixth form, final year)

House is worth £140, 000. £25, 000 still to pay on mortgage.

No savings. House is our only asset. He wants us to sell up and divide equity 50:50.

My DD, 17, wants to live with me. Very worried about the future. I want him to sign over the house to me in return for not claiming on his pension. Do you think this is achievable or totally unreasonable? I am a bit clueless as cannot afford legal advice and don't know who to ask. Would appreciate your opinions x

AliCat36 Fri 01-Dec-17 20:43:21

House isn't the only asset, his pension is an asset too & must be taken into account. You need to know the value of his pension. Does he want to keep it or share it with you? Could you afford to pay the mortgage & bills if you keep the house?

anowlmostfoul Fri 01-Dec-17 20:54:49

I don't think he is even aware that I'm entitled to half his pension. The mortgage is only £380 per month, I'd get a couple of lodgers to boost my income, I think I could afford it. I need to convince him to let me have the house in exchange for leaving his pension alone but have a feeling he will resist 😕

Alanna1 Fri 01-Dec-17 21:00:35

I would agree with the above about getting a valuation of his pension. What’s your pension? You could also look at whether you could afford to give him enough through re-mortgaging rather than selling up.

lljkk Fri 01-Dec-17 21:01:39

How can you pay the mortgage on your income?
On that income his pension won't be worth much.

outabout Fri 01-Dec-17 21:06:26

You should be able to find out how much his pension is worth. From that, and any other assets that could be divided you can come to an agreement between yourselves and if it looks reasonably balanced it can be presented to court to be made official and binding.
It will be a process of negotiation though. There is not much towards a house each if you do sell up and divide though.

anowlmostfoul Fri 01-Dec-17 21:10:53

I don't have a pension. Like I said, I'd pay the mortgage by having lodgers. My children still need somewhere to live. Do you think a divorce court would think my proposal is reasonable? Not sure how these things are decided 😕

MrsBertBibby Sat 02-Dec-17 07:30:37

It is impossible for anyone to answer without knowing the transfer value of his pension.

lljkk Sat 02-Dec-17 07:58:07

How many lodgers? My friend wants to do something very similar (similar mortgage) and one lodger won't cover her mortgage. by the time divorce comes thru your DC will be 18 & 22, so arguably they don't 'need' to be dependent on either parent.

I don't understand ppl who badly want to keep the house after divorce, though. My mother, my friend, OP. It's insane. My mother tried to start a BnB.

HouseworkIsAPain Sat 02-Dec-17 08:08:29

lijkk, I think it’s because people want to keep their home as they are very unlikely to be able to afford to buy another outright or with a small mortgage. Any equity will go in paying rent and what happens after it runs out?

House prices have gone up so much that the vast majority of home owners in their 40s could not afford to buy their homes if they were starting out now.

reallynearlythere Sat 02-Dec-17 08:15:09

I know it will cost, but please, please take legal advice. The CAB will be able to give basic help, but by not being sure of your entitlement, you could lose thousands.

anowlmostfoul Sat 02-Dec-17 08:28:32

Hi again, thanks for replying to me, I appreciate it. I've just found stbxh's pension statement, it states:

Estimated benefits if you stay in scheme until pension age: £8999.23 per annum
Estimated lump sum retirement grant: £5,998.13

Does this info help in deciding whether it would be reasonable for me to keep the house in return for not touching his pension?

Very worried about my future and lack of financial security.

WasDoingFine Sat 02-Dec-17 08:32:51

No it doesn't. He needs a CETV.

WasDoingFine Sat 02-Dec-17 08:34:47

lljkk - l am desperate to stay in my home...the only home that my children have ever known - they need that stability and familiarity. I would never get any thing else this size now plus it is all set up for DS1 who has ASD.

ferrier Sat 02-Dec-17 08:40:01

You need to know the value of the fund ie how much is actually in there. If it's paying out £9k a year I would imagine you have a good chance of offsetting it against the house.

Tugtupite Sat 02-Dec-17 08:42:08

OP from the figures you've posted and assuming you were married for duration of contributions I am guessing his pension asset is worth more than the house equity. As previous poster said, you must get a CETV.

Also, I appreciate what you've said but looks like you cannot afford not to get a little professional advice...your financial situation is too precarious to not go after every pound you are entitled to.

anowlmostfoul Sat 02-Dec-17 08:42:13

@WasDoingFine: Thanks, do you know how to work out the CETV?

Also, does the fact that I have a statement of ASD influence the division of assets at all, bearing in mind my ability to work longer hours is limited?

queencerulean Sat 02-Dec-17 08:44:14

You can get 30 free minutes from a solicitor. They may be able to advise you.

noisykid Sat 02-Dec-17 08:48:22

Can't see you keeping the house DD will be an adult when it goes to court it's half your house each. Sell and use your half to by a smaller place as the kids are adults now.

Ifailed Sat 02-Dec-17 08:50:40

Assuming he will retire at 67, the £9k pa estimate is based on him contributing for another 8 years. You are entitled to a share of his pension pot as it stands now, after 13 years of contribution. If that stands at £70k at the moment, then keeping the house and not touching his pension could be a fair deal, but you really do need to get a proper valuation. Having been looking at pensions for the past year, I strongly suspect his pot is currently a lot more than £70k!

Tugtupite Sat 02-Dec-17 08:53:12

OP the figures to calculate CETV must be precise and vary according to exact policy terms...that's why the CETV must be provided by the pension fund.

I don't want therefore to get your hopes up, and I'm certainly not a financial advisor.

That said, I'd estimate your DHs pension CETV to be worth in excess of 250K.

This is why I write you cannot afford to bypass professional advice...

noisykid Sat 02-Dec-17 08:54:10


Are you not awfully worried about your ex's financial prospects. He will retire in a few years and has no hope of getting a mortgage to buy a house for himself. So you want him to rent a place for him with space for family to visit and live on for £9000 a year.

You are being so unreasonable. He and you both get have the house and can afford a new smaller one each.

GreenPurpleRed Sat 02-Dec-17 08:54:28

I don't think your ASD will have any affect on the outcome unless you are expecting spousal maintenance?

Tugtupite Sat 02-Dec-17 08:55:38

Ok, I misread figures were based on contributions already made, but you get the point. Big bucks grin

Lesley1980 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:57:40

You'll get a cash equivalent transfer value from the pension company. Your husband will need to call for it. Do you have any statements with his fund & transfer values rather than yearly income? That would give you an idea of the CETV but wouldn't be accurate.

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