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Divorce, Spousal Support and Division of Assets

edited 6 April at 9:03AM in MoneySaving Mums
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Sienna2017Sienna2017 Forumite
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edited 6 April at 9:03AM in MoneySaving Mums
Hi, I hope this is the right part of the forum that I should post.
I'm 34, I've been with my Husband (38yo) over 12yrs, married for only 20mths, and have a 9mth old baby together. Recently I have found out, he has been lying and cheating behind my back throughout this relationship (I believe it has not got sexual, but I know he has sought after sex). I don't want to go into much detail but I still wish to keep it amicable for the sake of our Daughter.
INCOME SITUATION
So he earns around £72k per annum, but throughout the year, he would work extra shifts to boost his income (each shift can fetch between £500-£1000). I will return back to work end of July (if all plans out well), and will reduce my full time work to 4 days, my income will drop from £41k to £33k.
CHILDCARE
My Daughter will spend 2 days at nursery costing £92pw, and 2 days at my Mum's. His Parents live abroad, and usually visit each year for 3 months at a time. I feel my Mum's time should be compensated if we are divorced. My Mum is 58, and is a full time carer for my disabled Dad who is 78. So it's a lot on her to look after my Grandchild 2 full days a week.
BILLS
Before I went on mat leave, we both subscribed into the joint account (him £800, me £600) to pay for joint bills. And throughout the relationship, I've always paid my own way through. Whilst I've been on mat leave, I do not put into joint account, and he has put in £1800 to cover for all of us. We separately put in £200pm into her account, which we use for her clothing, one off purchases etc. I have been using my own mat leave money to pay for myself such as lunches out, clothing etc.
CURRENT AND FUTURE HOUSING SITUATION
We've lived together for 5yrs. Bought for £180k in 2014 (4 bed terraced), worth around £250k. Last Dec, his Parents gifted HIM the money to pay off the joint mortgage, around £118k. And from our joint account, we pay them back at £660pm, for the next 15years - interest free.
Ideally, I would move nearer to my Parents', and for a 4 bed detached, I'm looking at £230k (needs doing up) - £250k (little work). A 3 bed detached FYI is around £200k, but this would mean a very small house.
OTHER ASSETS
We have a flat in his name only, mortgage is in his name, Asset worth around £150k, mortgage around £90k. This is a 3 way investment with us and his Dad. I spoke to a solicitor, and we would only look at the net asset value of £60k. I have put in around £16k, I was thinking of asking for 50% of this, as I would lose out on the income of this which is £775pm / 3 ways.
SAVINGS
In UK, I have more savings than him, he has other savings abraod, so if we look at bigger picture, he has much more than me. I just want to keep what is mine.
PENSION
He has an NHS pension, and I was not going to ask for anything on this.
CONCLUSION
I understand Child Maintenance is calculated separately, but I'm not sure how much spousal support I should ask for? I'm working a day less, to look after our Daughter, on the basis that our lifestyle could be maintained. And we will both save on a day's nursery too.
So far, I've got
1 day's nursery £46*52wks = £2392/2ppl = £1196/12mths = £99.67pm
1 day less at my work = £8264.41/2 = £4132.21/12mths = £344.35pm - I'm charging him half for me to drop my one day here.
Total: £444.02pm - not sure for how many years.
To conclude, I keep changing my mind as I'm still upset, but he is her Father at the end of the day (even though he doesn't really care - this is me being diplomatic about everything) and would like to remain amicable. At the moment, I'm thinking 60% (£150k) on house and 50% of the flat (£20k) and £450pm for spousal support, and then Child Maintenance on top (which is a given anyway).
Any advice welcome, I've been battling this over the lockdown period and it's consuming my life. We've had very brief discussions, and he's said 50/50 on house, he won't reveal anything about his flat, nor discuss what he should propose. I feel cheated if I'm honest £170k deposit, would still mean a £60k-£80k mortgage. I have savings of around £20k, so mortgage loan could be reduced to £40k-£60k, but it would mean I have no savings left.
Really, really pleading for any help I can get here. Thank you very much in advance.
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Replies

  • edited 6 April at 12:29PM
    SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    edited 6 April at 12:29PM
    As I understand it, spousal maintenance is very rarely awarded nowadays, as the aim is for a permanent clean break at the date of the divorce (child support being a separate issue).  A neighbour was awarded 2 years of spousal maintenance, but it was made quite clear that it was a temporary measure to enable her to get back into work/undergo any necessary training as she had been a housewife for over 20 years.  This doesn't seem to be the case with you. 
    This looks messy, so I would take professional legal advice. 
  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    Definitely seek legal advice. Spousal maintenance is rare - I can't work due to caring for our severely disabled son, and I wasn't awarded a penny in spousal maintenance. Also, just for the record, a three bedroom house would be fine for you and your daughter, and would be cheaper. You can always upgrade to four bedrooms in the future if you want to. A three bed house would save you money at the moment.
    Your joint financial affairs are complex, so please don't try to sort this out without legal help.
  • edited 6 April at 6:57PM
    Sienna2017Sienna2017 Forumite
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    edited 6 April at 6:57PM
    Hi, thanks for your help. I understand it is complex, and I am seeking legal help. But they advise, if things can be settled privately, then that is the best way. I am just not sure how I should calculate this? And if I'm entitled to it?
    I understand a 3 bed house would suffice for now, not ideal as would like to buy it and live in it a long time.

  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    Hi, thanks for your help. I understand it is complex, and I am seeking legal help. But they advise, if things can be settled privately, then that is the best way. I am just not sure how I should calculate this? And if I'm entitled to it?
    I understand a 3 bed house would suffice for now, not ideal as would like to buy it and live in it a long time.

    What you need to bear in mind is that a court is going to look at the needs of your family unit as they are now, not what you'd like them to be long term. 

    You also haven't said whether you're in scotland or england. I'd presume england (statistical probability) but the law does differ quite dramatically north & south of the border. 

    Btw, child maintenance is supposed to cover expenses incurred by the RP - including child care. Parents can agree to pay towards child care (or other things) in addition to maintenance, but imo its always wise to look at worst case scenario as it can help adjust perceptions on what is "fair" (remember fair is equally fair to both, not just one). As can putting yourself in their position. If your husband said he wanted RP and cut his hours, would you be quite happy paying his lost wages? 


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
  • edited 7 April at 5:00PM
    swingalooswingaloo Forumite
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    edited 7 April at 5:00PM
    Hi, I hope this is the right part of the forum that I should post.
    I'm 34, I've been with my Husband (38yo) over 12yrs, married for only 20mths, and have a 9mth old baby together. Recently I have found out, he has been lying and cheating behind my back throughout this relationship (I believe it has not got sexual, but I know he has sought after sex). I don't want to go into much detail but I still wish to keep it amicable for the sake of our Daughter.
    INCOME SITUATION
    So he earns around £72k per annum, but throughout the year, he would work extra shifts to boost his income (each shift can fetch between £500-£1000). I will return back to work end of July (if all plans out well), and will reduce my full time work to 4 days, my income will drop from £41k to £33k.
    CHILDCARE
    My Daughter will spend 2 days at nursery costing £92pw, and 2 days at my Mum's. His Parents live abroad, and usually visit each year for 3 months at a time. I feel my Mum's time should be compensated if we are divorced. My Mum is 58, and is a full time carer for my disabled Dad who is 78. So it's a lot on her to look after my Grandchild 2 full days a week.
    BILLS
    Before I went on mat leave, we both subscribed into the joint account (him £800, me £600) to pay for joint bills. And throughout the relationship, I've always paid my own way through. Whilst I've been on mat leave, I do not put into joint account, and he has put in £1800 to cover for all of us. We separately put in £200pm into her account, which we use for her clothing, one off purchases etc. I have been using my own mat leave money to pay for myself such as lunches out, clothing etc.
    CURRENT AND FUTURE HOUSING SITUATION
    We've lived together for 5yrs. Bought for £180k in 2014 (4 bed terraced), worth around £250k. Last Dec, his Parents gifted HIM the money to pay off the joint mortgage, around £118k. And from our joint account, we pay them back at £660pm, for the next 15years - interest free.
    Ideally, I would move nearer to my Parents', and for a 4 bed detached, I'm looking at £230k (needs doing up) - £250k (little work). A 3 bed detached FYI is around £200k, but this would mean a very small house.
    OTHER ASSETS
    We have a flat in his name only, mortgage is in his name, Asset worth around £150k, mortgage around £90k. This is a 3 way investment with us and his Dad. I spoke to a solicitor, and we would only look at the net asset value of £60k. I have put in around £16k, I was thinking of asking for 50% of this, as I would lose out on the income of this which is £775pm / 3 ways.
    SAVINGS
    In UK, I have more savings than him, he has other savings abraod, so if we look at bigger picture, he has much more than me. I just want to keep what is mine.
    PENSION
    He has an NHS pension, and I was not going to ask for anything on this.
    CONCLUSION
    I understand Child Maintenance is calculated separately, but I'm not sure how much spousal support I should ask for? I'm working a day less, to look after our Daughter, on the basis that our lifestyle could be maintained. And we will both save on a day's nursery too.
    So far, I've got
    1 day's nursery £46*52wks = £2392/2ppl = £1196/12mths = £99.67pm
    1 day less at my work = £8264.41/2 = £4132.21/12mths = £344.35pm - I'm charging him half for me to drop my one day here.
    Total: £444.02pm - not sure for how many years.
    To conclude, I keep changing my mind as I'm still upset, but he is her Father at the end of the day (even though he doesn't really care - this is me being diplomatic about everything) and would like to remain amicable. At the moment, I'm thinking 60% (£150k) on house and 50% of the flat (£20k) and £450pm for spousal support, and then Child Maintenance on top (which is a given anyway).
    Any advice welcome, I've been battling this over the lockdown period and it's consuming my life. We've had very brief discussions, and he's said 50/50 on house, he won't reveal anything about his flat, nor discuss what he should propose. I feel cheated if I'm honest £170k deposit, would still mean a £60k-£80k mortgage. I have savings of around £20k, so mortgage loan could be reduced to £40k-£60k, but it would mean I have no savings left.
    Really, really pleading for any help I can get here. Thank you very much in advance.
    All marital assets will go into the pot, that includes property, pensions, savings etc. You cant choose to 'Just keep what's mine'. You will need help to sort out the finances as they are complex and you really need a solicitor. You will probably find that your hope of spousal support is a non starter, you will get child maintenance, plus you are going back to work so I'm not sure why you think you would be entitled to it. Spousal maintenance is usually only awarded if one of the couple have never worked and have been 'kept' by the other one of the couple and even then it can be a temporary measure until the claimant finds work and can begin to support themselves. 
    Likewise he cant choose to not reveal anything about his flat. Your finances will be sorted as part of the divorce and after the split of your assets you will be entitled to child maintenance from your ex. But the maintenance you are given is to cover the likes of childcare etc so your calculation for half of the nursery cost isn't realistic, you cannot start asking for 'half of this and half of that' as well as the maintenance. You certainly cant charge him for half of the day you want to drop at work and if you feel that your mother should be compensated for looking after your child then that too is your choice. 
    Its not easy but as a single parent things are going to change and you need to adjust your expectations as, understandably at the moment as you are new to the situation, you seem to be of the mind that your lifestyle will stay the same. However you are lucky to have a job with very decent pay for a 4 day week. 
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Hi, thanks for your help. I understand it is complex, and I am seeking legal help. But they advise, if things can be settled privately, then that is the best way. I am just not sure how I should calculate this? And if I'm entitled to it?
    I understand a 3 bed house would suffice for now, not ideal as would like to buy it and live in it a long time.

    The long and short of it is, you cant have the same lifestyle you do now, minus a husband.
  • Sienna2017Sienna2017 Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    Thanks everyone, yes I'm based in England.
    Ok, so sounds like spousal support is a none starter, which means that at the moment, the only guaranteed thing is the c£600pm in child maintenance.
    So is the answer just looking at half the combined assets? Pensions, Savings etc?
    My only qualm is, the majority of his cash assets sit abroad, can he choose not to disclose this?
    I am seeking legal advice, but wanted to see what info I could get beforehand. Having looked at the replies, and losing the the extra £450pm (spousal support) is very short of my expectation.
    £600, his half of nursery is £200pm, which only leaves me with £100pw for her.




  • BAFEBAFE Forumite
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    He can't chose not to disclose assets that are abroad.  He has to disclose all of them, regardless of where they are.
  • SocajamSocajam Forumite
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    Reading through what you wrote and your expectations, you sound quite greedy.
    As someone who went through this, you are going to have to be able to negotiate and give some things and gain some.  Failure to do so will only increase your solicitors bill and guess you will be paying for that,  Lawyers don't really care, because at the end of the day, they will get paid.
    It's best to ask your husband for a meeting and the two of you sit down and go through everything and come to a an agreement. If both of you can hold on to this agreement without the solicitors pitting each against the other , you are on to a winner.
    The minute yow allow other people to drum ideas into your head, then you are going to have a long drawn out divorce/settlement.
    I was able to settle things with my ex - in fact I have him more than he was entitled to, but in the long term I gave off far better than him.
    If I had listen to my friends, I would have been in a far worse situation.  I kept the input from solicitors to a minimum, until it was ready to be signed.
    I agree with all the other who said that why should your ex pay spousal support when you are able to work.  Your parents looking after the child is on you - the maintenance from your ex-husband should cover that, not for him to pay extra to your parents.
    Buying a 4 bedroom house is on you, not your husband's responsibility because you see yourself living in a larger house later on in your life.  Deal with the now and let years from now take care of itself.  A 3 bedroom house is big enough for you and the children.
    Good luck going forward, because you are going to need it, but you are going to have to be realistic about your situation and how yo go about getting your husband to sit down and compromise - both of you are going to have to give and take - may be you have to give more - that's the nature of life some times.
  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    Only £100 a week for your child? Well, that's a lot more than most people get. I can't work due to having a severely disabled child. My ex didn't have to pay me any spousal support, and child maintenance for three children was £235 a month. When he lost his job (which was after my oldest turned 18), he paid me £20 a month for two children. I also paid the mortgage and endowments from my benefits, as the house has been adapted for my son's disabilities.
    Time to rethink your finances I think....
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