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Part time or full time work?

(20 Posts)
lemurllama Sun 09-Aug-20 13:01:06

Husband and I have recently separated and I am in the very early stages of thinking about making preparations with regard to the divorce, house and finances.

For the past 8 years I have worked part time whilst I raise the DC and tried to be as much of a full time mum as possible at the same time as working. Luckily my job is flexible and during term time this has meant I have been able to work during school hours, enabling me to also do all drop offs, pick ups, play dates, clubs, meals, etc.

Now that I have become a single parent, I need to work full time to ensure I earn enough for myself and the DC. I work in a professional career and my potential earnings are greater than my STBXH, but he has earned more than me over the last few years because I've been part time whilst he's worked full time.

In terms of my own finances, is it better to hold off getting a full time job before settling on an agreement for our divorce? I have made career sacrifices to raise our DC and am not sure if this means I will be entitled to more of the house if I still earn less than him at the time of our divorce. Does anyone have any advice or experience of this? As much as I need to earn more, I can hold off in the short term if it means I get more in the longer term.

I hope this all makes sense. Everything is still very new and raw, and I haven't had much sleep this week. Happy to clarify anything if needed though.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

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crunchiebabe Sun 09-Aug-20 14:18:16

Yes , stay part time if you can. You career and pension pot suffered as you raised your family and this must be raised during proceedings and be reflected in the split. The judge will want to see you working , part time is sufficient if you can get by until the settlement. Hope this helps

Itsjustabitofbanter Sun 09-Aug-20 15:26:41

50/50 is the starting point when it comes to divorce, but the circumstances and needs of each partner is taken into consideration. I’d probably keep part time for now and say that you’ve been unable to work full time as you’ve had to take responsibility for all of the childcare. You may get a better outcome

Raver84 Sun 09-Aug-20 16:12:16

I'm going through a divorce and I work part time I have decided to continue to do this mostly as it will provide stability for the kids in the short term as they are already going through a big disruption.

millymollymoomoo Sun 09-Aug-20 17:44:45

The fact you have been part time will be given consideration in the settlement regardless as will both of yours incomes - both current and future potential. He’s unlikely to have to pay spousal so you can remain part time unless he’s a very high earner

BumbleBeee69 Sun 09-Aug-20 21:07:05

Nice to see you back online OP.. well done for coping and focusing on getting through this terribly traumatic period... good luck 🌺

lemurllama Mon 10-Aug-20 07:25:27

Thank you @BumbleBeee69

Thanks for the advice all. I'd not heard of spousal maintenance (everything is so new to me!) but, having just had a quick look online, I think it's worth looking into as an option.

I'm going to try and stay p/t for now. It's definitely the best thing for the DC; I am absolutely sure of that. In the longer term I will need to work f/t though. Just got to get through this horrible period first.

Is there anything else I need to consider? He has been unreasonable and I want to ensure I get everything I'm entitled to. It's difficult when everything is new and you're suddenly thrown into a situation you've never been in before and have to become an expert overnight.

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millymollymoomoo Mon 10-Aug-20 07:58:05

Is he a high earner ?
If not doNt count on spousal
Also, any settlement will also consider his housing needs and require somewhere suitable to have the children. It’s v unlikely spousal would be awarded if, by going full time, this allows you to be financially independent

Worakls Mon 10-Aug-20 08:56:20

I'm in a similar position @lemurllama. I have had my first meeting with me solicitor and she did say I would probably be eligible for spousal maintenance. I know the advice on here is don't count it, it's not a thing anymore but it's very situation dependent. So for me, I have worked part-time for 9 years now to raise our children, whisky my husband has worked away from home/travelled abroad for work and his career has soared. He earns a 6 figure salary and I earn 24k now as I had to give up my career as a teacher because of his job.
So please don't rule it out. Having said this however, I don't think I'm going to be asking for it. The mediator is suggesting higher child maintenance and I have offered to go full time in my current role which will help.

lemurllama Mon 10-Aug-20 08:58:44

His normally earns between between about 48k and 49k pa, but a large part of that is bonus so his actual basic pay is lower. (And this year's will be lower because he didn't earn bonus during lockdown.)

I earn just over 30k on a 0.5 contract. If I went f/t I would earn more than him, particularly if I took on a better position (which is what I would be looking to do).

Do those figures make a difference? I also would no longer get child maintenance if I went f/t, so would have less money coming in again. We live in a very expensive area so although those numbers sound like a lot, we actually pay a fortune to live in a very modest house and our salaries cover the bills with very little left over. We have no savings.

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lemurllama Mon 10-Aug-20 08:59:44

That's helpful thank you @Worakls

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stormsurfer Mon 10-Aug-20 09:08:57

Agree with previous posters, stay part time for now. Apart from the financial aspect, it will maintain a sense of normality for the DC and not shake them up as much. Also, adapting to being a single parent and going through a divorce is enough for you to take on right now!

But do look on entitledto website and see if you will qualify for any benefits as a single parent.

millymollymoomoo Mon 10-Aug-20 09:12:40

I really dontt think you will get spousal on those figures no. Especially when you’re on 30k on 0.5 and those include his bonus. You’re actually similar earners possibly your earnings potential is actually higher as you mention. Can’t see a judge awarding it even considering spousal - it’s not needed.

Why would you not get child maintenance if you went full time ? What are the arrangements you’ll have re children ?

But I’m not a lawyer and that’s why you need Legal advice

PragmaticWench Mon 10-Aug-20 09:54:17

Don't forget his pension has been able to grow more than yours, due to him being full time, so you may want to ask your lawyer about that.

lemurllama Mon 10-Aug-20 09:55:12

Sorry I didn't mean child maintenance; I meant child benefit.

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BarbedBloom Mon 10-Aug-20 20:44:43

With those figures I very much doubt you would get spousal. Judges favour a clean break and he isn't on that high a wage and you can work full time. My friend certainly didn't get it when they were on similar salaries to you

howfarwevecome Thu 13-Aug-20 11:29:03

I agree with staying part time for now. Your DCs are also facing upheaval (due to their father's shitty behaviour; glad you had him arrested) and may well need you to be there right now when you can.

Glad you are protecting your financial interests for you and the DCs.

millymollymoomoo Thu 13-Aug-20 13:41:56

I think it’s fine to stay part time - but recognise that it’s highly unlikely he’ll have to contribute to ongoing housing or with spousal to allow this
If op can finance house and living expenses on a part time wage with cms then do so

Lifeisabeach09 Fri 28-Aug-20 00:22:35

Definitely stay part time. Cut your costs where possible.

OP, do you rent?

UC may help you with rent and childcare costs. The amount you get will be based on your monthly NET pay (after tax/NI but not pension are taken out.)

Apply for child maintenance.

lemurllama Fri 28-Aug-20 08:27:41

Thank you. I am planning to stay part time at the moment, with a view to getting a full time job within the next year or so.

I have cut lots of costs already in the past few weeks and cancelled several direct debits. My STBXH and I own the house (with a mortgage) and I need to start looking into how this might be divided up.

Although money is a real struggle at the moment, I'm not sure I'd be eligible for Universal Credit. I only work part time but my income is still just over £30k. This might sound a lot but we live in an expensive area and I don't have any disposable income.

Will be applying for child maintenance ASAP!

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