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What is ‘reasonable’ financial settlement in my case? Advice please!

(102 Posts)
ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:00:13

I really need advice about what is reasonable when negotiating a financial settlement with my STBXH. I have always earned much more than him, and am worried that I’ll be taken advantage of if I don’t have a clear starting position.

Solicitor says we should come to an agreement between ourselves, but I’m not really sure what is reasonable or not. Are Citizens Advice worth speaking to?

Here’s some background— thanks for staying with it!

I am a professional earning a decent salary, while my STBXH is on minimum wage. I have full custody of our primary aged son, whom he sees twice a week and alternate weekends. We both work full-time. Other than maternity leave, I have always worked full-time and paid the lion’s share of everything.

I have always been the main breadwinner, and am currently in the marital home, paying utilities and mortgage. He is still contributing half the mortgage and half of some insurances. He does not pay maintenance, nor have I asked him to, mainly to avoid him threatening to return to the house.

He has already told me that he wants 50% of everything, including the house, the furniture, my pension (20 years teacher’s, so quite good) and my savings (he has none). He is also demanding maintenance. Google says he’s entitled to this, apparently(!!). I am staggered.

Can any of you point me in the right direction, please? Any supportive comments welcome. X

OP’s posts: |
Sardonicsnape Sun 03-Mar-19 12:02:50

Do you both have the same solicitor?

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:03:59


OP’s posts: |
presentcontinuous Sun 03-Mar-19 12:05:43

How long have you been married?

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:09:58

We’ve been married for 8/ 9 years (married in 2010) split in summer of 2017. Living together since 1998.

OP’s posts: |
ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:11:05

Oops, make that since 1997.

OP’s posts: |
Yellowshirt Sun 03-Mar-19 12:11:37

I'm in a similar situation to your husband. But I've never heard of a wife paying maintenance to her husband. Maintenance is paid to the parent who has the child living with them surely.

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:16:00

It sound ludicrous to me too! I have always assumed that maintenance is so-called because it is intended for the child and custodial parent.
Glad you’re thinking along the same lines as me.

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Quartz2208 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:16:01

First of maintenance I would say no and agree to minimum child from him
I would also try and ringfence your pension

House wise 50/50 seems right tbh as he has paid half the mortgage
Savings as well I would see as being a joint asset

My advice is a clean break order, is there an amount you think he would take to have no further claim on the house and your pension, in order for him to set himself up

Quartz2208 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:16:41

He is asking for spousal maintenance not child

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:19:55

Useful advice, Quartz. Thank you. I suppose the issue for him really is that without me, he’s going to really struggle to get a new place at all.
Is the clean break order something a solicitor will produce?

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ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:20:27

Sorry, yes, spousal.

OP’s posts: |
Quartz2208 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:23:26

Yes via court. I would get a new solicitor as well. It needs to be fair I think and protect you from future claims, which I would definitely recommend

presentcontinuous Sun 03-Mar-19 12:23:42

Was he ever a SAH parent for your son? Or did he scale down his work or compromise his career so he could look after him? If not then there is no reason you should prop him up forever because he doesn't earn what you do, this is just life.

Assuming he didn't, I agree with Quartz - 50/50 on the house and a chunk of savings so he can set himself up properly, then he needs to fend for himself day-to-day. And he needs to pay a proportional amount of child maintenance .

RandomMess Sun 03-Mar-19 12:26:06

Would 50% with his income be enough for him to buy a 2 bed property?

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:31:30

Quartz - good point about avoiding any future claims. A final settlement would be best all-round, I’m just wary of bankrupting myself in the process!

presentcontinuous - no, never a SAH parent, or made any career compromises to support me. He does seem to feel entitled to being propped up by someone else, which is why he is now my STBXH!

Thank you both for your clear and objective advice. It really helps to clarify my own thoughts.

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Surfskatefamily Sun 03-Mar-19 12:36:05

50%seems fair. Maintenance is not happening, hes trying it on

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:37:47

RandomMess - 50% will give him a fighting chance, but houses in our area are pricey. He’d have to get help from family (unlikely). He’s bound to struggle unless he gets a better paying job, so I anticipate a tough fight over the finances.

Love the pseudonym BTW!

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mummmy2017 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:37:49

I am going against the crowd here
Claim you want 60% of everything including your pension. Most judges will award you this as your looking after the child...
Also tell him as your the RP you want child support. Your allowed this . Doesn't matter what you earn.
If you work this out. It should come out to only giving him 50% of the house...
As you can barter the pension for the house .. ect . Till you come back down to what you want not him...

Yellowshirt Sun 03-Mar-19 12:43:29

What does ring fence your pension mean? The pension is probably your biggest asset assuming your house is still mortgaged and savings are minimal

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:44:54

mummy2017 - you’re my kinda woman! Do you hire yourself out?!!

I’m have no issue with 50% of the house. Agree it’s only fair. Ditto the furniture- even though I bought it- nice opportunity for an interiors re-think!

What sticks in my craw is the pension claim (my solicitor told me he is legally entitled to it!,,) and then the spousal support, which had me prostrate with despair! And all this from a man who thinks money doesn’t matter!!

Thanks again for all your great advice. X

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Sun 03-Mar-19 12:45:36

It's more tricky when there is not enough to purchase 2 properties...

You need a better solicitor IMHO, affordability does come into it but so does you being the RP.

If he's always done MW work his point of view is why should he be expected to do something different now, is he actually capable of earning more?

I can't imagine him being awarded spousal maintenance though!

Yellowshirt Sun 03-Mar-19 12:52:33

Mummmy2017 I agree with you. My situation is similar to this husband but is complicated because my wife took out £20000 loans and overdrafts in my name and it's left me with 3 ccjs but I still pay child maintenance for my 13 year old daughter and you don't pay him ex husband maintenance

ThunderThighs123 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:56:09

You’re absolutely right to say he’ll resent being told to earn more. I’ll avoid saying anything like that to keep negotiations calm.

However, I resent being his crutch, and now respectfully request that he stands on his own two feet.

(Having re- read my earlier posts, I would like to apologise for using too many ! marks. I’m a first-time poster and delighted to get such helpful responses.)

OP’s posts: |
mummmy2017 Sun 03-Mar-19 12:57:34

Remind him clean break half and half is there to stop the maintenance. This was also a payment to the parent with the child, not the other way round.
Tell him your willing to face a judge, and that since your both going to have to pay upwards of 25k on court fees ect. The pension pot he is after will get eaten up in solicitors fees.
Also tell him that even after he goes after your pension, he is going to have to wait for it, meanwhile your going after him for child maintenance and that is 10% if his wages every month , more if you have two children...
Stick to the 60%, your income is not counted in the split if assets.
Don't get stuck on the small stuff, share of house means you owe him less from the house, and his payments for children will offset any mortgage increase.
He started this not you.

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