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Divorce help please(34 Posts)
Apologies in advance for the long message but I want to make sure I give all the information. I hope someone can then help me as I don’t know what to do.
Last January my husband left me after 22 years of marriage. He said it was because he couldn’t live with me anymore but he started seeing someone else straight away so in my opinion he was having an affair.
Anyway, he has now filed for divorce and has made me an offer. Here are our current finances and dependencies
We own two houses that are both heavily mortgaged but there is about £30K of equity in them and they are rented out making a total profit of about £200/month
We have about £14K of personal debt
He has a work pension that he earned while married to me that brings in £800/month
I live in a rented property which costs £1000/month. I live there with our 20 year old twin sons. The house is full of our own furniture/appliances etc.
He earns c£50k/year and I earn c15k/year.
Over the past 12 months he has paid our rent in full, given me his pension in full and allowed me to receive all of the rental income while paying the mortgages on my behalf (£550). However, he has now said to me that this cannot be indefinite and instead wants to offer me the following divorce settlement.
Give me both houses (I keep the rental but am responsible for the mortgages)
Allow me to keep all the house contents bar a few personal possessions
He will take care of the 14K of debt in full
He will give me a fixed amount of £400/month to account for 50% of his pension
I hope I am not sounding ungrateful but he earns nearly 4x my income and even with the income that offer gives me there is no way I can afford to stay in the house that I am in as I am only earning 15K a year. I have asked him for all the pension as I cannot live on the amount I have. I have also offered to sell him the properties so that I can have a lump sum to set up in my own home but would need £50-60k from him. He has said that is too much.
It’s difficult when I only has his point of view and can’t afford a solicitor so can someone tell me if I am being conned here please?
Thanks for your help! Xxx
I think you should probably get advice from a solicitor. What is the situation with your sons, are they still dependent on you / at Uni ? Do they contribute to the rent? I don't think your ex is obliged to support you but you may be entitled to some of the pension ( although I doubt all of it). Is there any reason you can't live in one of the houses you rent, surely then you would be paying less in mortgage than your current rent.I think your situation is complex and you need professional advice, would he be willing to pay for that to make sure everything is fair?
One is working and the other is looking for work. They don't contribute to the rent. I can ask him about solicitor. I know he is paying for the divorce proceedings that's all
Just to add, I think it would be risky to own two houses with little equity in them. If you have a period without a tenant then you will be liable to pay the mortgage on a low income and could risk defaulting.
Would it not be simpler to sell the houses and split the equity? If you are on a low income and pay a high rent you may get some housing benefit towards the rent but any lump sum or savings would affect that and must be declared and also the £400 he is willing to give you might affect any help you get.
Also if you need to re-mortgage on the rental houses at any point you would be unlikely to be able to do so on your income alone, presumable they were purchased on the basis of your joint income and are in joint names? I think you would need to let the mortgage company know of the situation. You could perhaps go to Citizens advice bureau for advice?
He has said I can have all the equity in the property so if they were sold that would all be mine. He offered to buy them from me but I said I wanted 50-60k and he said no.
I think the mortgages are linked to the rent not our income but I'm not 100%
Does he have savings? If he is already paying the debts off perhaps he just doesn't have another £30K to give you in a lump sum? It doesn't sound like he is great with money if you have that much debt on a joint income of £65K although I appreciate some areas of the country are expensive. Also if he sells both the homes that will incur estate agents and solicitor's fees x2 which could amount to another ? £5k perhaps.
he is paying for the divorce proceedings
You're both paying for the divorce, out of marital assets
That's how your solicitor's fees will be paid
You can afford a lawyer
You need a lawyer
Thanks LL. What do you think I might be entitled to? I really want to be able to just make a new life for myself
You'd normally be entitled to half the assets, incl half his pension.
My concern with his offer to pay you £400/month is that although it's an income for you now, if he dies you will lose it, and on't have a pension of your own. Normally, where you have low value capital in housing, you'd also pension share, so that his pension is divided between you, with your half being assigned into your name so that it continues regardless of what happens to him. I don't know, though, whether it would pay out for you in those circumstances, or whether you'd have to wait for retirement age?
So, I'm not an expert, but having been through this and lurked a lot on wikivorce, the following might be a better idea:
- 50/50 pension share (might actually be a different split due to age/life expectencies, to make sure you get equality of outcomes)
- Houses are sold, debts paid from the proceeds and any remainder split between you
- small amount of spousal maintenance to help you adjust/give you time to get full time work
Your sons would be expected to contribute to the rent/house expenses.
I know that seems like you'd have less money coming in, but the risk of not being able to meet the mortgages is quite high. £200/month profit is probably not enough to cover you if there was a big expense (boiler/carpets/kitchen/evicting a tenant), especially as, being on a low income, you'd find it harder to get a loan, and it could be quite stressful living like that....Especially as tax has changed.
I suspect that he's realised that if he keeps the properties in his name, he'll not be in profit anymore because of the tax relief on mortgages falling from the 40% tax bracket, to only 20%. In fact, they may end up costing him money.
Another concern is that the mortgage company is unlikely to release him from the mortgage, or allow him to take his name off the deeds, given that you are on a low income and couldn't cover the mortgage in blank periods. And that would also have tax implications, because technically, half the profit would be his as far as HMRC are concerned. It could get very complicated.
I'll ask about the pension. It's a military one so I don't know if I get it after he dies or not.
He has offered to give me 30k and take the properties. Would that be a better idea do you think? I was hoping for more than that though
I've taken advice
Your husband is offering more than the legal requirement
If you go to law, you could end up with less
I'm sorry if I misled you
May I ask why you live in rented accommodation?
£30k, he pays the debt off and a pension share would be a great deal. Yes, military pensions can be shared, but I don't know if you have to wait until retirement age for it to pay out for you.
In a court you'd be likely to get a 50/50 split, incl his pension, plus splitting debts. So, it'd be more like:
- Half the house capital after debts have been paid
- Half his pension in a pension share
- possibly some spousal maintenance for a short time
You have maritial assets ( equity) of £30k and debts of £14k ( assuming they are joint debts), which leaves £16k, half of which would be £8k. So an offer of £30k seems good alongside half the pension.
I do understand though that it may not seem fair, especially as he may have had the chance to progress his career during your marriage whilst you may have been doing the bulk of the childrearing hence why you are on a lower income. This is why I still think it would be worth seeking legal advice to protect your interests.
I live in rented accommodation as the houses are in another part of the country to where I work.
I did consider moving away and into one of the properties but then the mortgage would change and I don't think I'd be eligible for one.
The ex has paid my rent for the last year and the mortgages on the properties which means I've been able to live ok but now that he says that is changing I'm worried if I will have enough.
he cant give you both houses if they are BTL unless the mortgage companies agree. Who is on the deeds and mortgage? had you spoken to them?
You need to work out what the assets are from the marriage and then what the split will be. It may be that both houses will have to be sold.
With £14k of debt and maybe £30K of equity there will be very little for anyone at the end of this. On paper it would be only £16k before costs split between you both and so if he is offering £30k that seems generous. The offer of half of his pension is also above what you might be entitled to.
It is too risky for the OP to take over 2 rental properties thst between them only have £30k in equity and only generate £200 a month profit. From the sounds of it the OP is not very au fait with dealing with finances and she may find it very stressful having to deal with all the responsibilities of being a landlord includibg dealing with piblic liability insurance, gas checks, voids etc. Her own very low income means it is unlikely that she'd be able to cope with the expense of voids or evictions. If she has given up work for any prolonged periods a court may award a better than 50% share of assets as well as a maintenance order. Would it be possible for you to live in either of the properties currently rented out?
That may be a cheaper option for you. Also how old are you as that may restrict what mortgage you could get.
After the divorce, you will no longer be entitled to any of the benefits of the pension
Forget periodic payments - it's too risky
A military pension is an annuity and therefore cannot be cashed in
Have the current equivalent cash value of the pension calculated by a financial services advisor
Agree a lump sum payment based on that calculation
Oh thanks again everyone.
One of you mentioned a maintenance order. Would I be entitled to that? I wasn't aware of this
Interests rates are likely to go up so the rentals could end up costing you money!
You definitely need proper legal advice. Your sons are in their 20s they aren't going to be your Ex financial responsibility as part of the divorce, they will have to start paying their way.
Can you move to a cheaper rental in time?
How much would a decent 2 bed cost to buy?
You definitely need to claim on his pension...
Sorry but I'm getting confused now. One of you mentioned a maintenance order and another to 'claim on his pension'. What do either of those mean please?
Does what he has offered me stop me claiming that?
Answering done messages. I'm in my mid 40s and a 2 bed in my area is about £120000
I don't often comment on these types of threads but you seem so completely and utterly clueless.
I would suggest to go full time work if you are not already.
Sell the houses and release the money. I can't see you being allowed to take on the mortgages. Plus the tax rules on BTL are changing and your tax bill will start going up every year and you will need to find that tax from the rental income.
Def pension share. Do it officially thoigh. Don't just accept £400 a month as if he dies then that will just stop.
Assuming he did 22 years in the military. What happened to his lump sum he got when he left? Is that what is in the houses?
His offer seems very generous. But get the pension sharing agreement oofficial in that you get the money direct from the pension provider not from him. Of course he gets his now and I don't know whether you would have to wait until you retire.
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