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Divorce/ Mediation? Financial support

(49 Posts)
nostaples Thu 06-Dec-18 19:51:00

Hi, recently separated from my husband. Married 5 years and together nearly 20. Two children, in their mid teens, who live with me full time but see their father a few times a week.

We've not talked about divorce yet and I don't want to bring it up as at the moment exdh is still paying into our joint account and funding his own flat out of his own personal account.

Just wondering what financial situation I would be if/when it comes to divorce.

I currently earn nearly as much as dh but it's taken me a long time to get there. I've had years being part-time.

We have about 70,000 left on the mortgage of the family home which would sell for about 350,000. DH has a senior teacher's pension and he was planning to retire at 60 (he's currently 55). Me too but mine is much less as I didn't start teaching until I was older and I'm younger.

As I understand it, I can be made to sell the family home when the children are no long dependent (21 or older, they both plan to go to university?). Will this be split 50/50? And what about dh's pension? Would he still contribute to the dcs' university fees etc after divorce or does he only need to pay child maintenance.

Thanks in advance. Am completely in the dark about these things and the separation is very new and raw.

OP’s posts: |
CallMePea Thu 06-Dec-18 21:53:17

I'm sure someone else will come along who is a lot more knowledgable than me.. but I was under the impression child maintenance was only paid until the child finished A levels or equivalent. I didn't think it carried one whilst at uni.

NotBeingRobbed Thu 06-Dec-18 22:12:42

Yes, no legal obligation to pay child support when kids leave school. Of course, a decent parent would volunteer to support their kids at uni.

RandomMess Thu 06-Dec-18 22:20:03

StArting point is 50:50 for all assets and debts of the marriage so it would be realistic for you to get more of the house equity as he has a bigger pension that you will not be able to match due to working part time etc.

LadyLapsang Thu 06-Dec-18 23:22:58

Remember pension sharing.

MissedTheBoatAgain Fri 07-Dec-18 01:25:58

Every case is different so generalizations are not helpful.

lifebegins50 Fri 07-Dec-18 08:32:21

Generally work on a 50:50 split of assets, which will include both pensions. Do you have cetv for his pension as it could be worth more than the house.

Regarding the family house, it's about affordability. Could you afford to stay there by taking on mortgage once equity split?

Uni costs are by negotiation, most parents don't pay fees and just contribute to costs of housing etc. As you are separated your earnings will be taken into account for loans which might be nore generous.

If the split is still amiciable then best to agree finances between yourselves. Get advice from a solicitor first however.

nostaples Fri 07-Dec-18 21:36:56

Thanks for replies. What is cetv please? If I keep my job I probably could take on the mortgage but how would that work as without selling he would get nothing and couldn't afford to buy him out unless share of his pension would cover it but I don't think it would. Very new to this and no idea how to progress.

OP’s posts: |
ISdads Fri 07-Dec-18 21:51:17

You should think about paying to have his pension cetv looked over by a specialist accountant - sorry, can't remember but your solicitor will know. His pension could be the biggest asset here

lifebegins50 Fri 07-Dec-18 23:37:13

CETV os cash equivalent transfer value.
It will give you an idea if how much the pension is worth. It is likely to be more than house equity if he has been paying into it since starting work.the pension company will provide the value if you/he request it.

Broadly you need to list all the assets and see how a split could work.
E,g if his pension is worth 320k and house equity is 280k then you could keep the house and get a 20k share of his pension, if you could remortgage for remaining 70k..however he needs to be housed so he could release some of his pension (at 55, usually 25%) but likely he will want you to remortgage for more and share more of his pension.

An alternative is to sell the house, split equity and pensions equally and each remortgage for a new property. So you have 140k deposit for new place plus £160k pension.

It sounds tricky but once you value all the assets it can start to take shape.

Sadly both parties do end up poorer, often in smaller houses. This is where hostility can build if one or both parties can't accept the change in reduced circumstances.

lifebegins50 Fri 07-Dec-18 23:38:50

I was just using example values as obviously not aware of what his pension is but it likely to be worth a considerable amount.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 04:58:05

The resentment comes in because people are stripped of their life savings - even from life before marriage by a partner who maybe hasn’t worked as hard or bothered to save! Now, I wonder why they would be angry??

I say this as a mum with kids to support now having to pay out to a man who is pushing off with my savings and won’t pay a jot towards the oldest at uni. I will, though, because my kids are important to me.

MissedTheBoatAgain Sat 08-Dec-18 07:37:42

NBR is off again. Your marriage exceeds 20 years. By then fiancés will have inter mingled. Would be difficult over that period of time to establish who contributed what. Hence more likely to be an even split.

In your case you are the higher earner. Therefore as weaker earner your ex may receive a larger share of assets. Logic is that over time you will catch up and may well even surpass your ex’s total worth and have a better retirement?

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 07:59:17

Yes I hope I have a better retirement - because I will have earned it. I will also have supported my children through university to adult life, fingers crossed. He won’t have done. Please don’t belittle my point of view! The law is an ass.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 08:03:20

@MissedTheBoatAgain maybe you can explain how my husband earned my pension? My name is on my payslip and his is on his. Did he come into the office with me and do half the work? No he didn’t. He went to his own office and did his work!

Please don’t tell me about equality - this is NOT equality. Being a working mother is harder than being a working dad - because I was still the one in charge of the kids’ clothes, activities, school meetings, childcare arrangements, doctors, dentists etc etc etc etc. He didn’t do all that.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 08:17:16

There are also glass ceilings and the gender pay gap which work against women and make life harder for us. There is NOT equality.

The law is sexist. It assumes women will give up work and stay home with the kids and it actually penalises those who don’t. My friends (they are still friends) who didn’t work get given a house while I have to buy mine for the second time! I’ve already paid for it once.

I am not less of a mother for having gone to work but my children are robbed to support a father who has actively damaged their lives.

MissedTheBoatAgain Sat 08-Dec-18 08:21:13


I don’t know the ins and outs of your 22 years of marriage, but sounds like you allowed yourself to be the one that did everything? If he did not help around the house and take his share of parenting maybe you could have kicked him out sooner?

People who are prepared to be doormats will be walked on forever.

Take the extreme case of Jocelyn wildenstein. Her settlement was an initial payment of US$2.5 Billion and US$100 million per year for a further 13 years. A staggering amount.

Her husband was a wealthy art dealer who inherited from his father. Did she develop the father’s business or take part in running the business with husband? From what is available on the internet she apparently did nothing.

Take comfort from fact that you are ridding yourself from a sponger and you will have a better retirement.

RandomMess Sat 08-Dec-18 08:23:18

NBR i understand that you are bitter and the courts have not recognised that your contribution outside of work was also more than your exH.

However you stayed in a very unequal relationship clearly for a very long time and with a spouse who has no integrity. I have also seen men penalised in the exact same way, worked in a demand role and did at least half of the "wifework" whilst their wife didn't work and got taken to the cleaners in a divorce.

There are lessons more us all to learn.

Don't be taken for a mug
Ensure "wifework" is valued in your relationship

ayupducky Sat 08-Dec-18 08:25:51

OP you should get legal advice before you do anything. It is not necessarily true that you could stay in the house until the children are a certain age.

As a pp said, it is about affordability. If he is renting a home but there is enough equity in the marital home to buy a smaller house each (albeit that you may both need to take on a small mortgage) that may be what is ordered.

Pensions will form a big part of your combined assets though which definitely needs to be addressed. Also note that liabilities (loans, credit cards etc) also form part of the 'pot'.

ISdads Sat 08-Dec-18 08:38:19

Pension splitting is easy to explain. It is just a type of savings account. If your ex had put 10% of his salary elsewhere eg an isa, it would be part of the assets to be split. So it is with pensions. It was household income that was invested in one persons name only.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 08:40:32

@MissedTheBoatAgain I’m not in favour of gold digger wives like that who milk their husbands! I am the exact opposite of that woman and the law is plain wrong.

Yes, I stayed married because even though it was unfair it had been instilled in me that it was important to stick with marriage. I was wrong about that but I am still getting stick from relatives for ending it.

The reason for kicking him out was not his lack of contribution but something else he did. But now with hindsight I can see the lack of contribution was a reflection of the sort of immoral man he is.

A court actually could look at who did what, who earned who and who brought what into the marriage in the first place. It could also look at who continues to support the children. The courts have simply chosen to ignore all this for their own reasons. It is honestly not much of a legal system at all, is it?

He chuckles as he hisses the words “equality” at me. A vile, vile, vile man.

MissedTheBoatAgain Sat 08-Dec-18 10:42:39

Unless every moment of a marriage was videotaped how would you demonstrate who did what and argue that one has done more than the other? It would just be one persons word against the others.

Once children are above 18 courts will see them as adults who are responsible for their own decisions including whether or not they wish to attend university.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 08-Dec-18 11:14:29

But there are bank statements, payslips, tax returns etc. It’s not true things can’t be documented.

A friend who was unmarried but in a long term relationship was able to produce exactly this evidence to show who paid for what. Marriage is the evil here.

greenberet Sat 08-Dec-18 11:21:10

Op so sorry you are in this position it’s a horrible time.

Go and see a few solicitors see if you get the same story from them - you will feel incredibly vulnerable - it’s understandable but get yourself armed with professional support.

Look at Wikivorce - is this amicable? Was anyone else involved - The answer to this will indicate how you need to proceed!

MissedTheBoatAgain Sat 08-Dec-18 12:17:10

Assets accrued after marriage are considered joint. How courts decide to split will depend on a wide range of factors. One of which is what both parties NEED going forward.

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