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Female higher earner(26 Posts)
I have a complicated situation. I have left my husband due to his unreasonable behaviour. So bad my 3 older teenage children voluntarily moved out with me as ex refused to move out and children totally understand why I had to leave.
I am the higher paid as ex refused to get a full time job. However I have always done 100% of care for the children (or arranged paid care). My DS 17 has many additional needs that has taken an extreme amount of my time to deal with.
My ex had a property in his own name he had before we met. Our family home is joint.
As I earn more my ex is threatening to claim spousal maintenance and have 50% of the time with the children despite never looking after them and they don't want to be with him. He thinks his property in his name is not an asset of the marriage.
We were married for 13 years and lived together longer.
I have seen a solicitor but wondered if any mum had any real life experience of divorcing when you are the higher earner but do way more than 50% of the things for children and home.
He is living in cloud cuckoo land.
There is no way he is going to get spousal maintenance.
Older teenagers will definitely be allowed to decide who they live with
As you have been married 13 years, all property is considered joint. So you have 2 properties and will be expected to have one each to live in.
Unless the reason your husband didn't work full time was demonstrably down to caring duties then it is, and will be treated as, irrelevant.
Spousal maintenance is rarely granted and only when it is clear that the partner has not worked due to 'home responsibilities in supporting young children, children with additional needs or business support.
You really have nothing to worry about.
Given the amount of time you have lived together you should expect a 50:50 split of all assets(so both houses).
If your children are teens they choose where to live.He would have to pay child maintinance to you for the children under 18.Spousal maintinance is rare and does not fit your circumstances.
Don't forget your pension counts as an asset.
Find a solicitor you are happy with a move on to a happier life.
Well, if the DC are teenage, he won't get residence orders for them. They are old enough to decide for themselves. Both houses will be considered joint matrimonial assets. I wouldn't worry too much. Why can't he move out of the matrimonial home and back into his own house?
You need @Xenia... when she 1st came on MN she was full of rancour towards a lower earning ex. Probably has a million tips.
Thanks that's all reassuring,yes he just likes making me upset by shouting lots of rubbish! His house is 5 hours away so cannot live in it unfortunately.
Assets will be pooled then they are split 50/50 as a starting point. As the lower earner he may get a larger share to enable him to own a house, but the residency of the kids is up to them at that age.
I’m a higher earner (female) and also took on much more responsibility for the kids. I think my ex also expected he would get maintenance but the reality is the courts want you to have a clean break. Our kids were teens when we split and both live entirely with me by their choice.
Sadly the law isn’t very kind to higher-earning mums. By that I mean your vastly greater contribution and all that juggling of responsibilities is not recognised at all. So assets will be split 50:50. I actually had to pay my ex approx 55% as my pension was larger and this was to even it up. Considering we both worked but he just didn’t bother to earn more - never pushed for promotion - that was pretty galling. I’d say I had earned 70% of assets.
He won’t be able to keep that property out of the divorce - it will be a joint asset. The law will expect him to be housed out of his share of equity. Is a sh@tshow.
@xenia has been through it all - she earned a lot and lost a lot with four kids to support. Maybe she will give some advice.
You will get child maintenance for the kids if they live with you. It’s not a lot but every little helps.
As a PP said the children will be able to decide for themselves who they live with.
As for spousal support, it depends how much you earn. My understanding is that it's only awarded to a spouse who'se career has suffered due to taking on the stay at home parent role, and where the paying person has a high salary (by high I mean 6 figures)
Thanks that's helpful to hear a real life experience. I have and continue to work so much harder than my ex at work and at home. The only positive is I had the money to walk out and leave!
How is everyone so sure that both houses are considered joint? The house was bought in his name before they even met?
I am able to prove from the many professionals I've seen over 17 years with my DS that my ex has never been involved in looking after the children. I am not a really really high earner just higher than him who only has his property rental income.
@TheYear in England and Wales all assets from a long marriage, which can include the relationship before marriage, are considered joint. In Scotland the law is different.
In Scotland all pre-marital property even if in own names, are considered joint so long as lived in by family (kids or not).
Maintanence is a non issue as they are older.
The starting point is 50/50 everything but in Scotland it is very strict, only marital profit/loss is split in 2. Whilst 50/50 is starting point, any contributions you made outwith marriage are generally excluded including inheritance, gifts etc. Unless an argument of economic disadvantage is made (ie stay at home dad whilst mum worked). In which case a balancing payment is considered depending on stay at home effort / proof he lost out financially.
I suggest printing off statements to show pre-marital contributions. Value of house. And what was earned during marriage. Plus create a timeline of relationship to help solicitor understand what is actually marital and what is not.
English law tends to be more lax. In that pre-marital money is included in the split to some degree.
Chat to lawyer with a spreadsheet and timeline
I also disagree with statement
"He will get 50% so he can buy a house"
The law doesn't state each person has to own a house. Simply that children's needs are met.
Otherwise where do you draw the line?
"Children need a house a car etc etc".
It is very subjective area of law and dependent on length marriage earning capacity (he can get a job just chooses not to).
From what I understand, pre marital assets are considered separately unless:
There is not enough without them to meat the patties’ needs, in which case they are brought into the settlement. (This condition applies to the vast majority of divorces).
The assets have been ‘mingled’ e.g the house was let and the income brought into the marriage.
For the very wealthy, a pre marital asset, always kept separate, is not a part of the divorce settlement (this is England).
We are in England. Thanks for the responses.
In Scotland, it is very strict. Only marital profits are split.
In England, courts consider pre marital more than Scotland. So your not lost but probably worse off than if you divorced in Scotland
Apply for divorce in Scotland
I have never lived in Scotland....
@Ss770640The law doesn't state each person has to own a house. Simply that children's needs are met.
I disagree with that statement. I was told by more than one lawyer that my ex-husband needed to be housed. Nobody seemed to worry much about the children. One was a young teen and the other just over 18. Neither wished to live with him and the youngest never sees him. Nonetheless he got 55%.
Fortunately I was able to buy him out of the family home and I have a good job - which I managed to cling on to in spite of all the upheaval. Now I have paid him off I am actually so much better off on a monthly basis. I have money left over to save - he was just draining it from the joint account and I had been working harder and harder to keep our heads above water.
He pays a small weekly sum of maintenance for the younger child so in the end the total he received will be more like 54%.
But I am left entirely supporting the oldest who is a uni student and still needs parental backing - plus feeding and housing in the holidays! I will also have to support the younger one through uni. It’s basically impossible for them to go without some financial help from me and I haven’t raised them all these years to let them down now!
Also, paying the legal bills until we reached a settlement was a big struggle! But he was aiming for a lot more than that 55% and I needed the legal firepower. These layabout men are extremely “entitled” and think they have a right to be kept for ever.
My point is, that "housed" doesn't mean pay someone's mortage.
Nothing wrong with renting...
Hypothetically say you married a millionaire and divorced a day later. It is not fair to claim £500,000.
I agree it’s not fair! In fact length of marriage does count. However in English law (unless a short marriage) the courts will want a clean break that sees both partners housed. So yes the millionaire would lose half. Grossly unfair.
If you are wealthy or even just comfortably off NEVER marry without a pre-nup. And if you don’t have a penny to your name but are young and have a lot more potential than your partner get a pre-nup too!!!
Fortunately I live in Scotland. Where the law says only what was earned during marriage is equally split.
England is different. But the same logic applies.
I doubt very much that it is 50% of everything.
A simple google will confirm this.
Yes it is 50% of everything - including pensions and property owned before marriage - as I know to my cost. Ouch.
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