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Separation

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My wife of 25 years, has decided she wants a separation, At first everything was amicable, we have done a separation agreement which she still has not signed. She is now starting to get difficult.

We agreed on 50-50 split of the house, and for me to pay for my 17 year old, £100 a week, until 18 or finished education.

She works part time in a school and earns £1,000 a month, but also earns from private tutoring £100 a week cash!! Total bills each month, including £100 a week for food is £2,400. I am giving her £2,000 a month, and taken on my mobile phone bill and car insurance.

She is letting some bills go back unpaid, saying she needs more money off me, yet has booked 3 weeks in Zante all inclusive this summer! Which is a bot of a kick in the teeth

I am still living in the house, but only allowed access to spare room and bathroom, so having to either eat out, or eat at work. I know I can have access to the house, but will cause to many issues, so I have agreed to this

I am left with £350 a week, which sounds ok, but having to pay fuel, car insurance mobile phone, my own food, and time with my kids, it soon gets swallowed up.

I found some notes over the weekend she has written down, she is now wanting 60-40 of the house, and spouse maintenance, seems a bit excessive seeing as she has the ability to now work full time.

Personally I don’t want to go legal, as its expensive, and she is also using the kids as ammo and any chance she gets turning them against me

Am I being unreasonable? Or fair?


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  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,738 Forumite
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    Is the property owned jointly?
    If it is then she has no right not to "allow" you to use all of it.

    She is being unreasonable and you may well have to go down the legal route.
    Without knowing your various future earnings it's not possible to say what a fair settlement would be but you seem to be paying the lions share of the bills.

    I don't think she's being reasonable or fair and unfortunately that does mean getting advice and going down the legal route.
  • andyhobbs
    andyhobbs Posts: 14 Forumite
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    lisyloo said:
    Is the property owned jointly?
    If it is then she has no right not to "allow" you to use all of it.

    She is being unreasonable and you may well have to go down the legal route.
    Without knowing your various future earnings it's not possible to say what a fair settlement would be but you seem to be paying the lions share of the bills.

    I don't think she's being reasonable or fair and unfortunately that does mean getting advice and going down the legal route.
    Yes property is joint owned, i have also discovered out of the money i pay into joint account, she is transferring £50 a week into a private account, and £10 into a personal ISA 

    but really in a difficult situation as don't went to lose my kids in the process, yes i far out earn her, but she gets her tutoring money, minimum of £100 a week, rent from my son £30 a week, and is also taking £60 out of the joint account, all of this is play money, and explains how she could afford to take her and the kids to Zante (yes i am bitter about this)

    i think its starting to dawn on her, that the money from the house sale will only also maybe 4 years as she will be eating into it every month or rent and bills. Where mine i can have sitting earning interest, so she is now exploring all avenues to get more out of me. 
  • LinLui
    LinLui Posts: 341 Forumite
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    I don't think this seems fair, based on what you have said. But I think you need to stop auditing what she is spending her money on! Get some proper legal advice on the settlement. But how she spends the money she has is none of your business.
  • andyhobbs
    andyhobbs Posts: 14 Forumite
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    LinLui said:
    I don't think this seems fair, based on what you have said. But I think you need to stop auditing what she is spending her money on! Get some proper legal advice on the settlement. But how she spends the money she has is none of your business.
    There is a reason for this, bills keep going back unpaid, yes she catches up, but i am paying a lion share of the bills, if bills were being paid, then yes none of my business what she spends it on  
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,377 Forumite
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    edited 28 May at 1:17PM
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    Spousal maintenance isn’t going to be happening. It’s generally only awarded where someone has been out of the workforce for a long time and need some support while they retrain. She’s already working and she’s not being realistic.

    Don’t forget both your pensions and then savings/other assets on both sides would also form part of a long-term financial order. 

     Have you suggested mediation?
    Is your youngest child 17 because a 60/40 split doesn’t seem reasonable for a child about to reach adulthood and possibly leave home. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • andyhobbs
    andyhobbs Posts: 14 Forumite
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    elsien said:
    Spousal maintenance isn’t going to be happening. It’s generally only awarded where someone has been out of the workforce for a long time and need some support while they retrain. She’s already working and she’s not being realistic.

    Don’t forget both your pensions and then savings/other assets on both sides would also form part of a long-term financial order. 

     Have you suggested mediation?
    Is your youngest child 17 because a 60/40 split doesn’t seem reasonable for a child about to reach adulthood and possibly leave home. 
    Thank you for that, we have taken my pension into account, not hers??

    we have no savings, and i have agreed to pay my own personal debts, but also half of hers, the car and two credit cards, but again she is still spending on the credit card which is a bit off, as should be going down each month not up!

    yes i have 3 kids, one has her own flat, my son is 20 and wants to live with me when we sell, and my youngest who is 18 next April, i have agreed £100 a week for he, roughly 12% of wages, until 18 or if she decides to go to further education then i will keep payments going, but she is talking about taking a gap year, so wonder if i have to continue payments during gap year 
  • Momanns
    Momanns Posts: 137 Forumite
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    You have every right to use everything in the house and should do so immediately. By making so many concessions already you are opening the door for your ex to push for more and more.

    Mediation is available at a lower cost than engaging solicitors but is reliant on a relative agreement. I would note the cost of everything joint and work out what you are paying on spreadsheets. Until there is an agreement in place, you are under no obligation to pay anything more than usual. 

    I have been in a similar situation, started out amicably and then in my opinion, people get greedy especially if they have friends encouraging her to keep pushing for more.

    Financial settlements start at a 50/50 split of your net assets. You both need to work out balances of pensions, savings, assets (house, car) etc and work from there. This is viewed as a mathematical calculation so what's right/fair/emotional doesn't really matter. She will also need to disclose and evidence the full value of any pension/ISA/Savings so if she is squirrelling money away, it's not an issue. 

    Spousal maintenance in the situation you described is very unlikely. In my case, the mediator laughed when my ex raised this.

    The kids bit is hard as I don't know your situation but again, it's 50/50 unless there is a reason not too. You can agree this mutually or let the courts decide. 

    My advice would be stay calm, get all the financial information together and go from there. Make notes on everything and raise it immediately if you think your ex is hiding any money/financial information.

    What are you planning to do with the house, sell or buy her out? You'll need to have that discussion also. There are also arrangements where you agree to let her stay in the house for the benefit of the kids until a certain point when it is then sold. 
  • andyhobbs
    andyhobbs Posts: 14 Forumite
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    Momanns said:
    You have every right to use everything in the house and should do so immediately. By making so many concessions already you are opening the door for your ex to push for more and more.

    Mediation is available at a lower cost than engaging solicitors but is reliant on a relative agreement. I would note the cost of everything joint and work out what you are paying on spreadsheets. Until there is an agreement in place, you are under no obligation to pay anything more than usual. 

    I have been in a similar situation, started out amicably and then in my opinion, people get greedy especially if they have friends encouraging her to keep pushing for more.

    Financial settlements start at a 50/50 split of your net assets. You both need to work out balances of pensions, savings, assets (house, car) etc and work from there. This is viewed as a mathematical calculation so what's right/fair/emotional doesn't really matter. She will also need to disclose and evidence the full value of any pension/ISA/Savings so if she is squirrelling money away, it's not an issue. 

    Spousal maintenance in the situation you described is very unlikely. In my case, the mediator laughed when my ex raised this.

    The kids bit is hard as I don't know your situation but again, it's 50/50 unless there is a reason not too. You can agree this mutually or let the courts decide. 

    My advice would be stay calm, get all the financial information together and go from there. Make notes on everything and raise it immediately if you think your ex is hiding any money/financial information.

    What are you planning to do with the house, sell or buy her out? You'll need to have that discussion also. There are also arrangements where you agree to let her stay in the house for the benefit of the kids until a certain point when it is then sold. 
    Thank you for that, that really helpful, will start on a spreadsheet and get things in order, as didn't think it would come to this

    house is on the market, but i know when an offer comes in she will reject it or find a reason not to sell, as at moment she is sitting pretty, i just need a clean break, and my own place so i can move on with my life 
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,377 Forumite
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    edited 28 May at 1:34PM
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    Cancel the credit card (or her card if It’s a secondary card on the account ) if she’s still spending on it and not paying it and set one up just in your name. She can get her own credit card and be responsible for her own debts.
    Her pension is also definitely part of the discussion. It’s not “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine as well.”

    You are now having your wages paid into your own account and not the joint account? You really need to separate your finances completely and get the joint account closed if she will agree because as things stand you were both liable for any overdraft that the other runs up and she could empty the account of money (as could you) should either of you choose to do so. If you need it open to pay the mortgage then just pay however much you need to cover the bills into it.

    I would also not be agreeing to pay any child maintenance directly to her past the age of 18 but instead pay any money directly to the child  while they are in education and they can negotiate with their mother how much that is fair to pay for board if living with her. Note this is just a personal opinion and I don’t know what the child Maintenance service guidance is around this. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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