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Divorce settlement - no clue what I will be entitled to

(5 Posts)
TotallyconfusedIhavetoadmit Sun 16-Mar-14 21:25:26

Hi all

This is my first ever post so apologies if I don't conform to the etiquette!

I would really welcome some advice on my situation. Basically my husband and I split up around 18 months ago, and while we've got the decree nisi we've stalled as neither of us knows where to go with the finances.

We were together 10 years, married for 6. Two children now 6 and 4. He left us. My issue is that I did the foolish thing (I now feel anyway) of giving up my career in London to be a full-time mum, while he now earns £80k plus bonus (I have gone back to work and earn about 7k doing a part-time job around school for the NHS). Tbh I wouldn't want to go back to my career as it would be 1.5 hour commute each way and I couldn't manage the childcare (have no family locally and my son is autistic so not easy to settle in childcare). I am living in the FMH with the children which is worth around £360k (equity of £160k). His pension is currently worth about £90k, I have a small one of about 4 years worth of civil service.

He pays me 20% child maintenance and is willing to pay some spousal maintenance given that I am limited in my ability to work FT. What sort of amount would a court consider reasonable? Would 40% of his net income overall be too much? It's difficult to work out as at the moment I get child and working tax credits, but as I understand it once Universal Credit comes in I would no longer be entitled as only child maintenance would be disregarded.

Also, what do we do about the house and the pension? What would be a fair split? 50-50 seems a bit unfair as he will be able to bolster his position going forward while my ability to build a pension etc is compromised by being the one with the kids.

My ex is now talking about going to mediation to sort things, which is fine, but I want to know what I should be aiming for as it is really stressing me out. I have suffered with depression and anxiety since he left me as it came entirely out of the blue, and I am finding it hard.

Thanks in advance x

TotallyconfusedIhavetoadmit Sun 16-Mar-14 21:26:34

(By the way, I do realise I am fortunate to have this dilemma compared to others on here who don't receive any support from their ex and are really struggling financially) x

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 16-Mar-14 21:56:14

Mediation does sound like a good way forward.

I'm a divorcee with two DC from the marriage (11 years). My eldest also has Autism. Unfortunately when I divorced DH had already stripped us of cash and assets. It had the upside of a quick and easy divorce though - if there is such a thing.

I think you're aiming a little low to start negotiation.

You and the DC need a home. Potentially your DC with additional needs could be with you well into adulthood so its not an until 18 scenario its a long term home. You wont have easy means to raise a mortgage so look at the capital within the home. Could you afford to take the mortgage over with a good enough settlement? Would you be able to buy a more modest property mortgage free with the capital?

20% child maintenance is a legal minimum guidance (you should be getting that percentage from bonus' etc to). Do you have other miscellaneous child expenses that could quickly be written into a settlement like he pays for instruments and music lessons/ exams, school fees, school trips, uniforms. All this stuff could effect your disposable income quite a bit but would probably seam minor if slotted in amongst discussing big capital division.

I thought, i have no professional knowledge, that 50% spousal maintenance wasn't unheard of until youngest is settled in full time education so more than you've suggested. Realistically though i'd start of with a 35% figure. This isn't about what has been, any feelings you've had etc. this is about you and your DC maintaining a decent standard of living. Through joint choices you and your STBXH have wonderful DC, you have become the caregiver. He doesn't have the legal option to just financially opt out.

I think pensions are usually 50% for the years accrued whilst you've been together.

If he left he should be footing the solicitors bills outside of everything else negotiated.

It is horrid having to do this stuff.

Do you feel up to emailing or phoning a few solicitors to talk through your options? Its the next logical step.

Keep strong. You will get through this.

babybarrister Mon 17-Mar-14 12:10:07

Go and have a look on the Resolution website and get yourself a solicitor to talk through the options. I am also a family mediator and mediation should ideally place whilst both parties are independently advised - particularly where money is involved in my opinion.

TotallyconfusedIhavetoadmit Mon 17-Mar-14 21:49:26

Hi, thanks for the advice ladies. He's now saying he wants us to sell the house but we haven't even agreed the split of equity yet. Where I live (pricey market town in the SE) there is no way I could get anything with 3 bedrooms for the equity or even for any mortgage I could raise in my own right. So am I best to stay put, even though the house is too big for us, has damp issues that need spending on, and tbh it has too many memories... I think he wants me up downsize so he can buy something, but he'd still need to be on the mortgage for anything I got.

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