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Divorce advice - DC at uni, long marriage

(155 Posts)
Time4change2018 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:02:00

Hi.
Long time lurker looking for some realistic impartial advice as my sister is filling my head with ideas based on her divorce 10+ years ago and i need to know realistically what I may or may not get.
Background... married 25 years in my mid 50s... he moved out around Christmas last year. Before that had been on sofa/ spare room for 2 years so. Technically moved in with OW but we'd been all but seperated for years.
I worked before 2 x Dcs came along, hairdresser. Didn't work again until DCs were in secondary school.... he would have preferred me to work sooner and can see over the years this has caused resentment. Work pt now in term time role. DCs now at uni, youngest starting this term. When he moved out he said he'd continue all financial arrangements (mortgage, all bills and household allowance) while dc at home before uni but now this is changing I know things are going to change.
So I'm worried what will happen and how will I cope without the house money, he has said he'll give funds to DCs directly to help with uni living. Anyone been through similar and can give me some thoughts.
House is almost paid off but no way will I get a mortgage on my wage or age so feeling a little anxious. He will have a good pension having worked 30+ years for a good national company in managerial role. Ideally like to keep house so DCs have home to come back to on holidays etc
Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:09:07

It’s highly unlikely you will keep the house when you have adult children. The best split would to split the assests 40/60 and get a smaller place even if it covers a deposit

Jeippinghmip Sat 15-Sep-18 15:11:11

I can’t understand why you’ve left it until now to start panicking. You’ve had ages to get a better, full time, job. Anyway, you need to step up and find a full time job ASAP.

If you can’t get a mortgage you’ll have to look at renting.

In the meantime get yourself a shit hot divorce lawyer to sort out a good deal for you.

Time4change2018 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:17:18

Thank you for replying. My parents are now in their 80's so I use the time I'm not working helping them so I'd struggle to work full time without needing to arrange care for them.... wow, a lot of thinking needed

OP’s posts: |
Time4change2018 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:20:02

Could I keep the house if I reduced or said I didn't want access to his pension ? Also I wont have a full state pension I don't suppose due to working, do I get a spouse pension ?
Does anyone think I'd be entitled to spouse maintenance, this is what my sister got when she divorced but then her boys were still at school?
Thank yoy

OP’s posts: |
Kool4katz Sat 15-Sep-18 15:36:28

You MUST see a good lawyer. Don't start negotiations until you've taken proper legal advice.
A lot of posters on Mumsnet are very conservative in their thinking and hate SAHM's so you'll get berated for not going back to work as soon as the kids started school.
But their opinions are meaningless in your current situation. In fact, ignore all well meaning advice, you just need to listen to your legal representative who will do their best to get the best possible settlement for you.

Sorry that your DH had an affair and left you. Mid-life crisis was it?

Regardless, find a good solicitor ASAP and stop putting it off.

Time4change2018 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:49:07

Thank you. Maybe I'm being naive or just wanting to emotionally move on but I don't really see it as an affair .... distasteful that he moved on so quickly but we'd been very seperate emotionally for years and I was quite angry at just washing, cooking and cleaning for him. If anything since he's left our conversations are more cordial, genuine interest in each other's family / parents etc. His new woman is not pushing for marriage / commitment and appears to a good influence with him in that he now sees his parents more, DCs more and his work isn't directing his life anymore.
I am very sad its ended this way but our love died years ago so I suppose I grieved for that then and just buried my head about everything else.

OP’s posts: |
Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 15-Sep-18 15:52:32

People always really underestimate how much pensions are worth.

To give an example - I have 10 years of final salary pension from when I worked full time pre kids (admittedly as a pretty high earner). It is worth more than our (4 bed detached with a double garage) house.

MissedTheBoatAgain Sun 16-Sep-18 07:55:36

In Law offspring are not considered as dependant children once they reach 18. My Ex argued that she needed at least a 3 (preferably 4) bedroomed house. One room for herself (fair enough) one for 10 year old son (also fair enough) and one for the 22 year old daughter (my stepdaughter).

Judge disagreed and stated the capital I had offered was sufficient to buy a 2 bedroom property which was all she NEEDED.

I kept the 4 bedroom house. Hahahahaha

AJPTaylor Sun 16-Sep-18 08:13:58

Find the money for a decent solicitor. It all gets thrown in the pot, including the value of pensions, cars and so on. So you might get some extra money/value in the house or some of his pension when he retires.
You can log on today and find out where you are with regards to state pension. You might be suprised. You need 35 years contributions but are credited 16 to 18 then for any year you claimed child benefit. Plus you worked prior to kids. At 50 i am nearly there. I always worked but my sister who hasnt isnt far behind. Plus you have years ahead to make up contributions.

Time4change2018 Sun 16-Sep-18 08:27:02

Oh thats another thing I'll need to buy .... a car, currently he has an allowance at work for 2 cars, that'll obviously stop.
I understand I don't 'need' the current family home but I would like it, I understand especially after reading on here that everyone loses out but for my well being and the DCs stability I'd like to keep the home. If I got less of a pension I could live with that as I could downsize in 10 years when DCs finished uni and are working full time.

Thank you for the pension tip, I'll have a look into that and hopefully it won't be as bad as i think.

OP’s posts: |
Notbeingrobbed Sun 16-Sep-18 08:46:42

In the Wright vs Wright ruling in 2015 the judge ruled all parents with children over 7 should work. Seems pretty clear. Was there nothing you could do that would fit around the children all those years?

I disagree that it’s conservative to expect mothers to work - surely that’s progressive? It’s not the 1950s and that Stepford version of life never existed anyway.

numbbrain Sun 16-Sep-18 09:41:38

You are in a very similar situation to me at the moment.

How many bedrooms do you have in your current house?

Missedtheboatagain
I don;t understand how you can be so gleeful that your SD may not have a room to go home to. My daughter is 21 and my sons 18, but as far as I'm concerned this is their home at least until they finish university. I would hate it if I had to sell this and buy a 1/2 bed house because they are over 18.
Where would they go during the holidays? summer?

Everytimeref Sun 16-Sep-18 09:54:21

Divorce settlement is all about "need". Unfortunately your housing need will be a one bedroom property.

If you wanted to remain in the family home you need to be able to afford to maintain it. As the children are adults it unlikely you would get spousal support to do this. You will be expected to get a full time job unless you have medical evidence of why you can't work. If there is no valid reason not to work it's unlikely you would be given spousal maintenance because you want to stay part time.

If your both in your 50's it's still a long time until you retire making the pension pot less of a monetary asset as it couldn't be used to provide a home. Mostly likely it will be shared fairly.

Thebluedog Sun 16-Sep-18 10:00:43

Firstly you need to get proper legal advice, start asking round for recommendations on solicitors and you can always go to a few for the half hour free consultations and see which one you like.

For starters it’s highly unlikely you’ll get any spousal maintenance so I’d give up on that idea. 50/50 is your starting point for all negotiations, that’s ALL assets and debts.

Don’t discard his pension for the short term gain of the house. Depending on what he earns and who he’s worked for, half his pension might be worth more than the house and you need to think long term about your financial future. How will you afford housing etc when you’re at retirement age.

You need to look for a full time job if you want a mortgage. Most people would love to work term time only but can’t afford it. This is a luxury you can’t afford now. That’s nit because of your divorce, it’s a fact we all have to realise. Your dh wouldn’t do it and now your dc are at uni you shouldn’t either

Notbeingrobbed Sun 16-Sep-18 10:02:49

Who funds the kids at uni? This is my big worry. It is actually a bit mad that the courts do not recognise that kids over 18 at uni need parental support and a place to live in the holidays.

Even if working, not many 18yr olds can afford to house themselves these days. The law is out of touch on that front.

First thing my ex said to my DS (18) was that he was no longer responsible for paying for him and I could do it! Caring dad, eh!

Everytimeref Sun 16-Sep-18 10:15:28

Adult children have to claim independently for financial support from their parents if they are divorced. The housing situation is difficult as student do need a home base but when divorcing their needs won't be considered. If one parent choose to buy a larger property with their share of the assets that their choice but they won't be given an additional share of the assets to do so.

MissedTheBoatAgain Sun 16-Sep-18 10:27:05

To Numbbrain.

I seem to remember on another thread you started and many told you that children over 18 don't count. Seems to me that you are afraid that ex might end up with a bigger house than you?

Settlement is based on needs. As a single person how do you NEED a 4 bedroom house?

In my case stepdaughter sent email that she had no intention of living with her mother after University. You should have seen ex"s and her barrister face when that email was read out. Hilarious.

Notbeingrobbed Sun 16-Sep-18 10:39:23

There is no legal way a child over 18 can apply to their absent parent for financial support at uni, as far as I can see. Maybe you know different? I’ve just checked the UCAS site.

And money saved by a parent to support their student child will be split 50/50 on divorce. So the absent parent walks away with the cash intended to support the student.

The loans available do not cover all living costs. Plus they are calculated on the income from the penultimate tax year, so before separation.

This is where the law fails. It is assuming an 18-year-old is financially independent and also capable of handling the emotional pressure of asking an unwilling parent for money.

numbbrain Sun 16-Sep-18 10:41:02

As a single person I don;t NEED a 4 bedroomed house.

But if I am in a 1 bed house and EXH is in a 1 bed house, where will the children go?

numbbrain Sun 16-Sep-18 10:44:06

Missed - I understand a 21 year old writing that they won;t be living with a parent after university.

If anyone had asked me the same at Uni I would have said the same. However, when I didn;t have a job to go to on graduating, I lived with my parents until I had a job and had saved for a flat.

Time4change2018 Sun 16-Sep-18 10:50:37

To answer a few questions... yes I could have worked more and earlier than I did but we both agreed for me to be at home in the short term as I only rented a chair in a hair dressers so no career as such and he earned enough for the house. I see now how this was foolish as he built resentment from him, reduced my confidence in the work place and has given me less to build on now but i cannot change that now. I'm sad to say used to my life now and can fit in commitments with my parents, run DCs around and cook for them ... i realise I'm sounding more 1950s by the minute.

OP’s posts: |
MissedTheBoatAgain Sun 16-Sep-18 10:51:59

To Numbbrain

Your offspring are physically your children and always will be, but in law they are adults and will be excluded by the courts. I say this as my ex wife tried same sympathy approach and judge immediately saw through it as an attempt to get larger share of asset than she NEEDED. Settlement are based on NEEDS only. Wants, wishes and the desire to be able to gloat over the other partner will not enter the decision.

As to where your Adult children will stay solutions are:

On the floor
Sofa bed
With friends
Local B & B

Notbeingrobbed Sun 16-Sep-18 10:56:46

Wowzers. So your adult student child goes from a 4-bed house to homeless. British Justice!

I work and I’m committed to supporting my kids come what may. No way will I let them sleep on the floor for three months at a time.

numbbrain Sun 16-Sep-18 11:03:22

I'm with you on this Notbeingrobbed.

missedtheboatagain - my ex wife tried same sympathy approach and judge immediately saw through it as an attempt to get larger share of asset than she NEEDED.

I sense a real resentment for your ex, however this is not the case with us. I am not trying to get sympathy, neither is it an attempt to get a larger share of the assets.

For both me and EXH, the children, adult or not, are our primary concern and it bothers me greatly that their needs are not taken into account. I understand legally they are not, but I would like to think that common sense would come into the decision.

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