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Divorced but financials still to settle

(6 Posts)
DearestMommy Thu 21-May-15 21:33:31

Essentially a long marriage of 22 years. My husband much younger than me. Now with younger partner. I have remained in the marital home with my daughter who is 18 later on this year but still in full time education.

He is pushing for the sale of the house and a 50/50 split. My solicitor is saying taking into account salary difference and age difference that the split should be more like 70/30 in my favour. Me £18,000 him £55,000, pensions difference as I was a stay at home mum for about 3 years and a part time worker until 3 years ago I have no pension apart from around £24,000. His pension pot is around £200,000. He has just over 21 years working life left I have just 5.

I am trying get it so I let him keep his pension and I keep the house but he wants money out of the house to buy a new house with his new partner. If there is a 50/50 split there will not be enough for me to purchase a house as I am unable to secure a mortgage on my low salary and my age /lack of working time left. The equity in the house is just slightly more than the total pension pot.

I am aware that he and his new partner have a largish sum of money for deposit. He is going to inherit his mother's house as he is the only child. I am also aware that she (mother) has offered to sell, give him the money and live with him. I am also pretty confident that with his much younger partner, his much longer time to earn an income and his partner being in a new much higher paid job they will have no problem raising a mortgage.

He says I'm being greedy. I just want a small home I can be secure in in my retirement and something big enough (two beds) for my daughter and I until she is ready to set up home for herself. She is hoping to go to university also so I am hoping that we can continue to support her where we can. I think he's being greedy as he wants to buy a large 4 bed detached house for his new girlfriend and her children who are more than adequately provided for by their high earning father.

Am I being greedy? Am I wasting my money with a solicitor that is being unrealistic?

Any guidance most appreciated.

Collaborate Thu 21-May-15 23:05:10

As far as pensions are concerned you'd expect them to be shared equally, but if you feel that you still won't have enough to live on in retirement you can present that to the court as a needs argument (in the same way that you would be saying you need more than 50% of the house to meet your housing needs).

Obviously without knowing the value of the house, debt on the mortgage and your housing needs (and a host of other factors) I'm not in possession of enough of the facts, but it doesn't sound unrealistic to me.

Trust the advice you're being given.

DearestMommy Fri 22-May-15 08:09:16

thank you for your answer. I have to admit to being somewhat scared of what my future holds. I only want to secure a house for me mortgage free for the remainder of my life. I can't get past the fact that I had owned my own homes for almost 20 years prior to marrying. My ex had nothing apart from a bicycle and clothes. He moved in and we married then purchased together in the early 90s. At that point my house had decreased in value by 30% due to the property crash at that time, wiping out my equity almost save about £7,000. In retrospect I should have held out until there was a rise in the market, but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? And we don't go into marriage assuming it's going to end do we. And I am acutely aware that the decision is based on need and not what was historical. I just hope that any decision is based on the fact that we both have the same needs but that his earnings can provide that need without having so much money from the property.

The equity in the house is at about £300,000 and a two bed house in this area would be at least £300,000 if not more.

I just can't believe any court would come to a decision which would leave me using that capital to rent until it ran out and requiring state help for housing and leave him in a position of purchasing a large detached house. But that is what the mediation lawyer seemed to think would happen and suggested that I should just accept the 50/50 split and get over it!!

LotusLight Sat 23-May-15 07:26:05

The pension cash is not cash really. If he took £200k out in cash at age 55 or 57 - the youngest he could 40% of it would go to the state in tax at least so we can never say the actual amount of cash in a pension is "worth" the same amount as equity in a house. It is worth a lot less.

Every situation is different. Our financial order says I support all 5 children including paying university costs (I earn more than my ex).Also they all are home half the year when at university and I bet your husband and his new lover and his children do not want your daughter spoiling their cosy little love nest so surely another reason to let you stay in the house until the daughter has finished her education. Even after that 2 of mine came back home for 2 years of law school and part of their training after that lived at home so it's reasonable you want to be able to house his daughter in her home for some time.

However the law is the law and she is 18 and you both work so there is a risk it might be a 50/50 split if went to court. Probably not but could be. So both sides are going to have to think if they want to spend all the difference in sums they want from the other on lawyers or reach a compromise.

If he can raise enough for the new house by forcing his mother to sell up then may be he would consider that you can stay in the house for another 5 years and then sell and split 50/50 which gets you more time to find better paid work - remember there is no compulsory retirement at 65 or 67 these days and many of us will work into our 70s so don't write your own earning capacity off just yet!

cannotseeanend Sat 23-May-15 07:51:12

Every case is different. However, I was just forced into court against my wishes. Husband abandoned me, left 4 kids behind he never saw again, 10 more years before the youngest is 18. 18 years marriage. He also got it into his head everything is 50/50, so that he could start off a lovely new life and in court told me we could all live in a 2 bed house, so that he could have a large detached 5 bed worth double family home (he moved up in the world to a more expensive area).

It was horrendous. I offered 40% to him out of court for the past 18 months. I tried to get him into mediation and refused.

A 50/50 split would have meant us losing our home and having to move down to 2 bed, fitting 4 kids in one bedroom of different sex - yes my husband went on and on at hearing that 2 beds were sufficient. I argued over and over that he could have all the savings and his kids could keep their home and he should accept the 40/60 split I offered. In my heart, I thought 30/70 split would be fairer, due to number of kids and the effort in building up the savings was all me and never him. But I knew the judge has to follow the law which does not always line up with morality or reflect fairness, so I offered the 40/60 split. The 40% made up of savings and 60% made up of family home.

The judge disagreed. He awarded a 37/63 split and pensions 50/50. So my husband got less by taking it to court than he was offered outside court. I ended up with more than I asked for. I am sure if the judgment were based on morality, the split would have been even greater in favour of me and kids, but we have our home and that was the most important thing for me.

In the judge's summing up, he stressed that in a long marriage a 50/50 split is the usual these days, but given that my husband had admitted he had completely washed his hands of the children and I am left with 100% care and we are 5 and he is 1, given that i have lost earning power, I will have to pay continued child care costs whilst he has no such costs, that he decided a 37/63 split would be the most appropriate amount, leaving us with the house and a small proportion of the children's savings intact and ring fenced (rest of children's savings had to be given to husband in the 37%).

If you were to go in front of the same judge, I fear he would go closer to the 50/50 split, as you don't have any under 18s. I can say the judge was absolutely NOT impressed when my husband explained he wanted the 50/50 split so he could buy a 400k 5 bed detached house, in a very expensive area, when our family home of 4 bed was worth 200k and told him it was more than reasonable for him to live in the area of the family home and NOT where his new love interest lives! So I fear the judge would say that you should have to move to a cheaper area, like he said to my husband.

Can you see how close you can get to 50/50 and do your maths at various splits, look around at moving somewhere a little cheaper.

LotusLight Sat 23-May-15 17:21:17

"Well done cannot (and to the judge). In our case as I earn so much more even tough my children's father chooses not to see or help with or pay a penny towards 5 children because I work full time he got almost 60% in a clean break and I had at the time to take out a £1.3m mortgage but of course the lovely children who live with me (otherwise they'd be in care). So even if as a woman you have 100% of the caring, seeing, living and being with the children if you work full time and earn more than your man he can still get a massive pay out because the law will not force him to do any childcare unless he chooses to and that is not reflected in the financial order.

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