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How do I become independent?(8 Posts)
My husband and I separated in March and he moved back in to live at his parents home.
We have 4 children in total, 3 of which are still living at home 18 and 22 years old and one is 12 years old so classed as a dependent.
My husband is 52 years old and earning around 50K and still paying for the mortgage and utilities. I am 50 years old, work P:T and earn 10K, I am paying for the food and other expenses for the children.
We are separated and have not undertaken any legal assistance or advice as of yet and are not looking to divorce immediately. We are very amicable and he has regular access to the children, he comes to the house to see them 3/4 times a week.
We both have new partners although nothing serious.
We have a mortgage on our property but don't have enough equity to sell the house and each buy a property and I wouldn't be able to get a mortgage on my salary alone.
I am just wondering if I should
a. Get some legal advice and a legal document drawn up with agreements listed.
b. Work out and how do I find out what happens if he decides to stop paying the mortgage and bills. Would the council have to house us? Can I get the answers if they are hypothetical?
c. Should I be looking at a spousal agreement and entitlement to pensions to secure my future? I have not pursued a career since having my 4 children.
Also I just feel so in the dark and naive about the whole thing. I have been trying to read up on everything but there's so much information and our situation doesn't really fit the normal circumstances.
Any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation would be much appreciated.
Hope you get more replies - I would suggest getting legal advice.
Yes to a and b.
Nobody here can say whether you will get spousal maintenance. Seems unlikely given his income and your ability to work. But that’s what the legal advice is for.
You need to apply for benefits and formalise child maintenance. Also work out how much you can earn over the next 10-15 years before retirement.
Realistically he is going to want to move on with his life. As you do. He’s shown good faith in maintaining the mortgage payments. But he isn’t going to live in his parents home forever. Decisions need to be made on how you pay for your home and he pays for his home.
The problem with Mesher orders and spousal maintenance is that they are a short term fix and just kick the problem down the road. Generally only advised if there is little other option. I think you have more options. But it involves improving your household income, reducing commitments and being realistic about the house.
Two adult children should be paying their way. Both you and their father need to discuss where they are going with their lives and how they will pay their way.
At 50 you need to look for a full time job and earning a decent wage. I am 55 and having to do back full time as the maintenance from my ex husband isn’t enough. I didn’t get any spousal maintenance as my solicitor said it would not be agreed and I cannot expect another adult to look after me when I’m capable of working. However, you will be entitled to a % of his pension for the time you have been married. You will also be entitled to a % of the equity in the house if there is any. I was lucky that as our kids live with me full time I got all of the equity and with my salary was able to extend the mortgage until I’m 70 and take on the house. You need to get legal advice. He can stop paying at anytime without legal advice.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll get spousal maintenance as you’re able to work. What has come into thr marriage will be split fifty fifty. And you may be able to make a play for some of his pension, likely paid in a lump sum Ie maybe you get more equity and he keeps the pension, that kind of thing.
Judges want clean breaks now and expect you to support Yourself. They only really go for a prolonged payment if you’re unable to work or retrain to work, and if you’d be in relative poverty.
If you’re evicted then yes the council would house you all if homeless, but it may not be in your county and it will likely be temp accommodation which wouldn’t be nice. It would be better for you if you have the deposit for a private rental, understand benefits you’re entitled to, inc housing benefit, and sell and release the equity from your current house.
With a 12 year old living with you, and having given up your career opportunities to raise your children, its likely you will get more than 50% of your joint equity. He still has a career and no weekly caring responsibilities so he is in a much better position than you and the financial agreement will reflect that. Your case will be based on needs, who needs what, you obviously need a home for you and your dependents and provision for the future. Its not his pension, its your joint pension, and this will need to be split too. Plenty of men on these boards that think women can devote there entire lives to raising their children and then can be binned when their usefulness runs out, like other appliances. Fortunately that is not how law in the country see's it. So do not worry and do not agree to anything without good legal advice. He should be paying child support for the 12 year old already. With regards to the mortgage I doubt he will want to default on the payments so dont worry about that too much either until the financials are sorted. It may work out that you keep the house and he keeps the pensions (you need a pension valuation), and you sell the house eventually for pension money. Completely depends on how much there is in the pot, all assets need to go on the form E. Also you may qualify for universal credit as you have a low income and a dependent.
If he continues to pay the mortgage, he can argue this is in lieu of child support. That’s normally accepted.
OP there’s a limit on much you can rely on being supported by your ex, either as part of a clean break or through spousal support.
You need a life plan to take you through to retirement and beyond. Sacrifices and changes are going to need to be made. Please don’t make your new partner the solution. Whilst it might work out you need to be more financially resilient.
Are you able to increase your hours to full time in your job?
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