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Feel all at sea with divorce please help

(8 Posts)
Uppatea Sun 28-Apr-13 12:30:00

Hi i really could do with some help. My diabetic alcoholic husband left me and 2 little girls in Jan. There is a massive back story and multiple safety issues which are driving me crazy with worry. I posted about him here before almost exactly 3 years ago as Mrs Karpet

My most pressing one atm is the financials for the divorce though. Husband was the money manager in relationship and I did everything else (everything).

My solicitor asked for a massive pile of documents which I have managed to amass but I am struggling with the household income/expenditure form.

I initially just put down my bills etc as outgoings but downloaded a template with all sorts on it like holidays,days out, haircuts,clothes budget, etc etc. Apparently I need to put down how much I spend/need for everything I will need to pay out for me and the girls in the future so that our financial needs can be worked out, have I got this right? My problem is I genuinely have no idea. I actually try to spend very little at all,I have always used charity shops and hand me downs for the girls, hardly buy things for myself,we go without 'stuff' we don't need,I shop thriftily for essentials.

I have no idea what a reasonable amount to put for these categories would be. I don't want to lose out by the fact that I am careful with money when he has the opposite attitude to money. If he wants something he wants it now,even when we didn't have the money for it he amassed huge loan and credit card debts to get what he wanted. No delayed gratification or going without for him.

Do I just guess?
And does the final outgoing amount have to be less than what my current income is or can it be more?

Any insight or advice would be very helpful Thank you

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 28-Apr-13 12:34:26

I'd take an educated guess with those categories. Work on hair-cuts every six weeks, new clothes every month, a main holiday a year, several days out during school holidays. If you're not a big spender, whatever you put down will be an under-estimate. I wouldn't let your current income limit your statement either. If you had more money, you'd use it sensibly. BTW... guarantee he will be stacking up a LOT of 'essential' expenses to make his disposable income look low...

akaWisey Sun 28-Apr-13 13:07:59

I agree with cog. Take an educated guess. That's what I did and it was fine. smile

Mosman Sun 28-Apr-13 13:27:42

I'm a right spendthrift so if you want to use my expenses and then half them as I have four kids not two let me know and I'll pm them to you.
With school uniform, shoes etc for the kids alone I spend £250 a month, add in a pair of shoes, jeans something for me it's at least £350 to give you a for instance

Uppatea Sun 28-Apr-13 13:33:57

Thanks both of you. Erm sounding dim again but an educated guess..?! that's the bit I'm struggling with,I have no idea. As i don't have past expenses to guess by. gaaagh.

I cannot think straight about any of this as I am so so worried about the children and him pushing to have care of them. He has been seeing them but my solicitor from the start said he should have supervised visits. We currently use a contact centre. His massive ego and denial are making him say he wants them for weekends. He has never ever in 5.5 years had care of them for more than a few hours,both by his choice and disinterest and my inability to leave them with him. He will not admit the extent of his alcoholism despite the years of problems it has caused and is lying lying lying to everyone. He sold off his car yesterday,lied about the amount he received for it to me and his solicitor. He didn't know my son was there who overheard the 500 cash in hand bit exchanging.

I feel like I have been dropped into nightmare for which I have no skills. Counselling for me and the girls, women's aid, solicitors,work, keeping home and family going,money worries,emotional trauma,mediation with a liar. Fear for my girls safety is consuming me. Terrified of him taking it to court and lying lying lying still.

SOrry gone off at tangent, I need more help than I realised eh?

Uppatea Sun 28-Apr-13 13:35:03

wow Mosman thank you that would be a good place to start maybe. Please do pm me.

foolonthehill Sun 28-Apr-13 14:46:59

www.advicenow.org.uk/advicenow-guides/family/divorce-a-survival-toolkit/budget-form,10095,FP.html

here is a form broken down into categories so you are less likely to forget items. My solicitor said budget 10% more than you actually last spent for variable essential items (eg shoes) especially fro children as they get more expensive as they get bigger.

good luck

3mum Sun 28-Apr-13 17:46:53

Having been through this, I would really suggest you spend a lot of time on calculating your and the children's needs. What you put as your needs should not be linked to income or to living hand to mouth. It is a reasonable estimate of your needs. As cog says, add on 10% to everything. You will underestimate or forget to include some things.

Don't try and do it all at once, but aim to be really thorough. If your experience is like mine you will keep on thinking of things eg DS1 will need braces next year, parking permit, children's clubs, stuff like that. Write it down. It's amazing how much comes to mind. You can ring your energy providers and ask them for a prediction for your energy costs based on the last year's consumption. It takes them one minute to give you that.

Something lots of people miss. Don't forget to add in a provision for replacing and repairing things.

For example, assume the life of, say a washing machine is 5 years. After that time it will need to be replaced so you need to add in each year's budget one-fifth of the cost of a washing machine. Otherwise when it dies you will not have any money to replace it. Do something similar with every single significant item in your house including your iron, cooker, microwave, dishwasher, boiler and hot water tank.

What is the life of your carpets, sofa, beds etc? Think about everything.

Assume you will need an electrician and plumber occasionally for things going wrong.

Assume your house will need to be decorated inside and out every x years. If you own your house and know there is something starting to go wrong, make a provision for repairing this over a sensible period of time. Ideally also have a contingency for unforseen things going wrong on the house. If you have a car, work out when it needs to be replaced and what the cost of replacing it is and work backwards.

Don't forget to add in an adjustment for inflation (at least RPI each year and ideally more given the way fuel bills keep rising).

Too many women end up seriously underfunded following divorce because when they calculate their needs they just look at what bills they pay now and don't look forward.

Good luck!

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