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Half the house and spousal maintenance

(19 Posts)
Estherpologist Sat 08-Aug-20 14:21:25

I've read divorce apparently takes 4-6 months. But is that how long it would take to get half the value of the house paid over if the mortgage has been paid off?

I've also been advised that divorce courts are keen for SAHMs to "maximise their earning potential" after divorce. How does that work with spousal maintenance? And what if the ex-SAHM doesn't have main custody?

And when does spousal maintenance start get paid?

OP’s posts: |
Redlocks28 Sat 08-Aug-20 14:27:37

I have had several friends divorce recently and none have got spousal maintenance. The couples have shared custody of the children 50/50, so no need for child maintenance either.

How long have you been married, how many children and what assets are there? Are you working now?

Farahilda Sat 08-Aug-20 14:31:26

You need to take proper legal (and maybe financial) advice.

50/50 is often the starting point for the financial settlement, but it can and will be altered in light of the actual assets (property, pensions, savings/debts, other major items) and the child arrangements. The timetable for transferring assets should be laid out in the agreement (eg equity release from house sale cannot be transferred until it is sold, but must happen within a specified time then)

Spousal maintenance is rarely awarded unless
a) long marriage, close to pension (which will be shared)
b) whilst care of children if the marriage prevents employment (very young or additional needs)
c) it is for a brief transition period to allow for retraining and job hunting

Estherpologist Sat 08-Aug-20 15:38:57

I hadn't even heard of spousal maintenance until today, and everything I've seen seemed quite vague. It sounds like it's something I shouldn't expect. It would be nice, considering the sacrifice I've made, but it's not a deal breaker.

I'm assuming the house will be remortgaged and there are investments which I'm hoping can be turned into cash pretty quickly. I'm just trying to figure out how long it will be before I can get my own home after we start the divorce, and what I do in the meantime.

OP’s posts: |
Kassandra1 Sat 08-Aug-20 15:42:15

I'd put the idea of spousal maintenance out of your head tbh. It's incredibly rare and only awarded in very specific circumstances.

In terms of maximising your income, you are required to pay your own way once the assets are split.

Could you rent while you wait for everything to be finalised? Is he likely to contest?

Estherpologist Sat 08-Aug-20 16:18:25

There's little chance of the divorce being challenged.
I think I'm going to struggle to rent in the short term as I have almost no savings of my own and can't provide evidence of income to a landlord. I can stay with family for a while, but it's not ideal and probably not for as long as 4-6 months.

OP’s posts: |
Redlocks28 Sat 08-Aug-20 17:02:12

How long were you married?

Estherpologist Sat 08-Aug-20 21:56:03


OP’s posts: |
FishOnPillows Sat 08-Aug-20 22:31:12

There’s no hard and fast timescale to divorce. I’m now approaching 2 years of trying to sort finances (& there was a year of children’s proceedings before that).
So much will depend on if you have to go to court or not, and if you do then how much both of you engage with the process. There’s also a huge backlog of cases in some areas now due to Covid.

If it’s all amicable and it can be agreed between yourselves it’ll go a lot quicker. Either way, you have to attempt mediation first.

As others have said, spousal maintenance is rare. You can also apply for interim maintenance if you’re truly struggling - this is basically to tide you over until proper financial settlement is reached.

millymollymoomoo Sun 09-Aug-20 07:43:06

It’s so depended on individual circumstances that no one can say here

Things won’t necessarily be split 50:50 unless that’s fair and you both agree and neither contests it

You need to understand all assets and debts
The length of marriage, minors, earnings both current and potential, needs and ‘equalising’ will be given consideration. If necessary to achieve this spousal may be awarded but where possible it’s not preferred

The actual transfer Of the house ownership doesn’t take long if there’s no mortgage - it’s reaching that agreement that could

Notcrackersyet Sun 09-Aug-20 07:50:01

When I divorced a few years ago the local system was backed up and my divorce took a full year. A solicitor will be able to advise.

SeasonFinale Sun 09-Aug-20 07:52:54

And that assume that your husband agrees to the share of assets too.

Redlocks28 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:13:35

There's little chance of the divorce being challenged

I’m not sure that’s what would hold anything up. The issue will be reaching an agreement between the two of you about what’s a reasonable amount of money. Is he likely to pay what you want? What does the calculator say you’re entitled to?

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 09-Aug-20 09:21:21

It is not only challenge that slows a divorce mine to 5 years because he procrastinated every step of the way not returning paperwork, not even acknowledging it. Dog his heals in over the slightest thing.
The financial consent order only went through because he wanted something and then finally I could get the absolute.
4-6 months is really best case scenario and with Covid we are not in best case scenario.
You need info about all the assets house, savings, pensions, stocks and shares.
He maybe being nice now, but the financial settlement brings out the very worst in people. I only got mine through as I rolled over and accept slightly less than I should have done to get it over.

Estherpologist Sun 09-Aug-20 15:42:02

What powers do the courts have to expedite financial disclosure? It sounds like they don't have much?
Are calculations made from whej the divorce is initially applied for or the DA?
And as I'll have a far smaller earning capacity, it sounds as though it's going to be tough s___ until final payment is made.

OP’s posts: |
thecognoscenti Sun 09-Aug-20 15:52:43

You need to take proper legal advice, OP. Financial matters on divorce are very fact-specific and no one here is going to be able to guide you properly.

thecognoscenti Sun 09-Aug-20 15:53:17

But yes, forget about spousal maintenance, it's pretty rare to get it.

FishOnPillows Sun 09-Aug-20 15:58:35

The general process is that you have to try mediation first. That can take anything from 1-3 months (or I’m rare cases, longer). If that fails, you can then apply to the court. In my area, first appointments applied for now are being given court dates in December. As part of that you’ll each be expected to fill in a Form E (financial disclosure), exchange them with each other and send a copy to the court in preparation for the first appointment hearing.

Unless you’re my ex-husband, who didn’t do his Form E, then when we went to the first hearing last Dec, was ordered (with a penal notice) to produce it within 14 days. The next hearing was due in April but was cancelled, and we’ve finally got a new hearing for the end of Sept. Where we’ll probably have to repeat the whole process all over again as both of our financial positions have since changed, & his Form E was deficient anyway. 🙄
For completeness, I first applied to the court last July (2019), after nearly a year of failed mediation attempts.

And this is only the first hearing - there can be up to 3 hearings (although I’m told most only have 2).

So it really does depend on how much you each engage with the process.

If you’re really struggling financially and he is earns high, you can ask your solicitor to apply for an interim financial order - this is where he will pay you a set amount to keep you going until a final financial order is made. They’re not common and there has to be a clear case of need on the one side and affordability on the other.

Are you still in the marital home, and who has the children (if there are any)?

Redlocks28 Sun 09-Aug-20 16:00:20

Did you answer any of the questions, OP? How long have you been married? How many children do you have? What does the cms calculator say?

Do you think your DH will want to pay you less than you’d like?

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