Advent-ures in the MSE Forum... Our Advent calendar is live, helping you discover a new corner of the community each day. Visit the homepage and scroll down

Divorce proceedings

edited 23 November 2017 at 8:59PM in Marriage, relationships & families
79 replies 13.6K views
trojan10_omtrojan10_om Forumite
80 Posts
Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
Forumite
edited 23 November 2017 at 8:59PM in Marriage, relationships & families
Sadly, my wife no longer wants to be with me and there is 100% no going back. I have been living with a friend for the past few weeks making a small contribution towards bills.

I'm guessing the answer is to seek legal advice? I'm not sure where to begin. We both want to do mediation, but from initial conversation our financial expectations are very different


We have 2 children - 4 months and 2 years
We have a mortgage - Around 110k owed 180k equity (5 year fix started this year)
My wife is currently on maternity leave - plans to take the full year off and go back in May.
I work full time and contribute the majority of the finances


I've agreed to continue splitting the finances this month in he same way we've always done - I put all my salary into a shared pot except for £200. My wife does the same with her maternity pay/child benefit.

My wife expects this to continue until May - which isn't great for me.

Should I just go ahead and take legal advice? How do I pay for legal advice... using the shared money? £200/month doesn't go far.

I know I can't expect someone to come up with all the answers in a complex situation.. but any indication on what my financial responsibilities should be would be helpful.

I have already read all the links on Citizens Advice, but they are of course all very generic
«1345678

Replies

  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
    14.2K Posts
    10,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I think you should pay the CMS rate and not a penny more. She's entitled to several benefits on top of everything she already gets
  • Comms69 wrote: »
    I think you should pay the CMS rate and not a penny more. She's entitled to several benefits on top of everything she already gets

    yep she can not expect you to sofa surf for the next 6 months.

    if she wants to split and there is no turning back then you should be cutting ties financially, because you are going to HAVE to get your own place soon, and rent, council tax, bills etc are not cheap. so look into the following

    work out what your child maintenance costs are going to be, nice handy online calculator for this

    start looking at places you can rent, and how much that is going to cost, you will probably want a 2 bed place so your children can stay with you over night some nights, at the ages they are they can share a room.
    but also bare in mind that if your wife can not afford the matrimonial house as it is and you can, it 'should' be perfectly reasonable to ask her to move out and you stay in the house, benefits will cover a lot of rent for her so could leave everyone better off. expect a fight and a lot of abuse if you suggest this!

    look at your work pattern and how often you can have your children over night - aim for as many nights as possible as they will need their dad, but be prepared for a fight to get them, as women still generally get the better deal when it comes to children. and if they screw the dad around there is usually no 'punishment' for this even if there is a court order.

    i will probably get some people thinking i am horrible for suggesting this as well, but if she starts being awkward, just remember it is your house as well, you have every right to carry on living in that house. so you can move back if finances are a problem, and dont worry about the kids, they are at an age where they will not remember their parents arguing etc. but having you move back in could force her to think about other arrangements that are more fair all round.



    solicitors wise - some do a free 30 min session to get some basic advice, phone around some, but dont get your hopes up, a lot have significant waits for a free session, if you do get an appointment, write out your situation in simple bullet points, and work out what answers you want the most, 30 mins will fly by!

    reason fro break up, no emotion if possible, just the facts as you understand it. so you/she had an affair, you cant live with each other, etc

    finances - try to have some figures written up for basic income and expenditure and savings and debts for both of you, potential costs of moving/benefits available for both of you

    children - what you want/can do in regards to child care and amount of time you want/can have them

    housing situation - this will be linked to finances, but you will probably want to discus this in more detail, so legally what are each persons needs, chances to force the sale etc


    seperatly you might want to contact the mortgage provider, explain the situation and see if they can offer anything to help, from a short term interest only mortgage to a short payment break, ok i dont expect they will offer anything since you have just signed up to a new deal, but there will be no harm asking
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a £100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = £7 a week ~ £28 a month
    20p per product = £14 a week ~ £56 a month
    30p per product = £21 a week ~ £84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    35.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Put her financial details into one of the benefit calculator and you'll get an idea of what she will be able to claim.

    The child maintenance that you contribute will be on top of these benefits.
  • A 4 month old baby? Is this definitely final and over? Have you offered to go to counselling or therapy with her? Is she suffering with PND?
  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
    5.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
    Forumite
    A 4 month old baby? Is this definitely final and over? Have you offered to go to counselling or therapy with her? Is she suffering with PND?

    My thoughts too.....
  • Has something happened to trigger this breakdown of the relationship? If there's no trigger point, it could so easily be down hormones, stress and a million other things that can happen with the arrival of a new baby.

    Try and keep the lines of communication open. Discuss financial matters together, and sit down and work out what can be claimed, together; seeing it in black and white or on a screen can make a difference to expectations. Be realistic on what you need and what can afford. If you can work out a financial settlement that you're both happy with, try and do it before the solicitors get involved; it could save a lot of money in the long run.

    If there is a trigger point, it could be a different story.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
    10.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    What comes out of the joint account? If the joint account (less the £200 you each keep) is enoug to cover the mortgage and other household bills and no more, then it isn't reasonable to expect that to continue, as if the two of you are no longer together then you will need to pay rent, bills etc as well.
    If the joint account also covers non-essential outgoinfs - money to savings, pensions etc then you may need to agre to stop or reduce some of those outgoings wuntil you have worked out the 'new normal'

    Sadly running two households is more expensive than one, and being single is more expensive than being a couple, so unless you had a lot of spare money as a couple, you are both going to see a drop in your standard of living and have to find ways to cut spending.

    the 'entitled to' website is a handy place to start to work out what your wife may be able to claim, one you and she separate.

    It can be helpful to look at what each of you has as basic, essential outgoings, so look at your rent, council tax, basic bills gas/electricity /water) plus the mortgage and basic bills for the house.
    £200 a month obviously isn't enough to cover rent, bills and food.

    So either you both remain in the house (it is possible to be separated but in the house, so it would not prevent you from moving to a divorce if that is what you both want) or you move out in which case your combined income needs to stretch to run both homes.

    Do go to see a solicitor to get some initial advice, and think about then going to mediation (or using the collaborative law process) to try to agree on issues.

    Think about whether this is final - what has led to the break up, and are either / both of you willing to try counselling to see whether things are fixable.

    Do you have any joint savings which you could make use of to reduce the financial impact of the split? For instance, to cover the costs of your initial rent etc for a month or two so that you and she can get used to the reduction in available income gradually.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • trojan10_omtrojan10_om Forumite
    80 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    A 4 month old baby? Is this definitely final and over? Have you offered to go to counselling or therapy with her? Is she suffering with PND?


    Tragically, I think this could be a part of it. She has had depression and anxiety for over 2 years, but she is convinced she is happier now that I am gone. She will not consider any counselling, and her family are fully backing her decision which is the saddest thing really.

    It's definitely over, and to be clear I'm not saying I've been the perfect husband. But I need to look forwards now.
  • trojan10_omtrojan10_om Forumite
    80 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    TBagpuss wrote: »
    What comes out of the joint account? If the joint account (less the £200 you each keep) is enoug to cover the mortgage and other household bills and no more, then it isn't reasonable to expect that to continue, as if the two of you are no longer together then you will need to pay rent, bills etc as well.
    If the joint account also covers non-essential outgoinfs - money to savings, pensions etc then you may need to agre to stop or reduce some of those outgoings wuntil you have worked out the 'new normal'

    Sadly running two households is more expensive than one, and being single is more expensive than being a couple, so unless you had a lot of spare money as a couple, you are both going to see a drop in your standard of living and have to find ways to cut spending.

    the 'entitled to' website is a handy place to start to work out what your wife may be able to claim, one you and she separate.

    It can be helpful to look at what each of you has as basic, essential outgoings, so look at your rent, council tax, basic bills gas/electricity /water) plus the mortgage and basic bills for the house.
    £200 a month obviously isn't enough to cover rent, bills and food.

    So either you both remain in the house (it is possible to be separated but in the house, so it would not prevent you from moving to a divorce if that is what you both want) or you move out in which case your combined income needs to stretch to run both homes.

    Do go to see a solicitor to get some initial advice, and think about then going to mediation (or using the collaborative law process) to try to agree on issues.

    Think about whether this is final - what has led to the break up, and are either / both of you willing to try counselling to see whether things are fixable.

    Do you have any joint savings which you could make use of to reduce the financial impact of the split? For instance, to cover the costs of your initial rent etc for a month or two so that you and she can get used to the reduction in available income gradually.

    We have about £2000 going into the joint account (My contribution is £1,600)

    Our mortgage, internet, utilities, council tax and petrol and childcare adds up to £1,200. We probably spend about £400 a month on food/supermarket items.

    So potentially £400 is non essential.

    Obviously while I am owning half the house, I will be contributing to the mortgage. Initially I agreed that I am happy to sell my equity to her if a figure can be agree(her dad is very wealthy), so we may not have to sell the house.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
    14.2K Posts
    10,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    We have about £2000 going into the joint account (My contribution is £1,600) so plenty to rent somewhere for you and your children?

    Our mortgage, internet, utilities, council tax and petrol and childcare adds up to £1,200. We probably spend about £400 a month on food/supermarket items.

    So potentially £400 is non essential. - it sounds like £1,200 is the non essential from YOUR point of view.

    Obviously while I am owning half the house, I will be contributing to the mortgage. - Why? Initially I agreed that I am happy to sell my equity to her if a figure can be agree(her dad is very wealthy), so we may not have to sell the house.



    That would make sense, so let her buy you out. I don't see the issue. All you need to do is have somewhere safe and secure for you and your children.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Cheapest Christmas dinner

We've crunched the numbers to find the best prices

MSE News

Advent Competitions

The countdown is on

MSE Forum