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    • SingleDadToBe
    • By SingleDadToBe 12th Oct 18, 7:54 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Financial advice on seperating
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 18, 7:54 PM
    Financial advice on seperating 12th Oct 18 at 7:54 PM
    Hi, hope this question hasn't been asked too many times and apologies if it's a bit long!

    We've agreed on who will be the main carer for the children, childcare arrangements and who will move out of the family home but we're really struggling to work out how to split our finances on separation, both assets and debts without giving ourselves problems.

    So for a bit of background, we have been married for 8 years (together for 17 years since we were 15) and have 3 children of 9, 7 and 5. We decided to separate a few months ago and it is fully amicable, although as time wears on we really are feeling the need to split properly and get out from under the same roof. The split is based on simply falling out of love, no affairs or anything involved.

    My wife is going to leave the family home, leaving me 'officially' as the main carer however she will have daily access to the children after school until I get home from work and alternate weekends. I work full time and this year I have started to earn a pretty good wage really (fall into the higher tax bracket) but disposable income is practically zero due to repaying credit, mortgage, rent, bills, groceries, cars, etc...

    I've always paid for everything and my wife stayed home looking after the kids, a fair balance all in all. It was always a stretch which is why the debts built up, but the plan was that now the kids are all fully at school, we'd have more money after she qualified as a teacher in a year (doing OU), so it was a planned debt (mostly 0% credit cards, etc). I hadn't planned for a split!

    I've paid 100% of the mortgage, rent, bills credit card payments, loan payments, etc. since we bought our shared ownership place after we got married.

    I did an affordability check with our mortgage provider and confirmed I would be unable to buy her out of the mortgage due to the amount of marital debt we've built up and having 3 dependants. Totalling around 26,000 from loans and credit cards. So even though I pay it all now, the bank says I can't afford to.

    I thought it would be easy enough to buy her out by basically doing a swap of her share of marital debts and in lieu of her paying any child maintenance payments - I was pretty naive there! Even if the bank would let me take on the mortgage, there would be thousands to pay in early settlement, remortgaging, solicitors, etc...

    We are a bit stuck with it all as she really needs to move out, and is going to get a job to enable this. However this is also going to lead to increased childcare costs (we've agreed to share childcare duties and costs of childcare pretty evenly) but I am struggling with the idea of how I will continue to pay off all the marital debts by myself along with the mortgage, rent and everything else. Monthly outgoings are more than I earn. We've worked out that she won't be able to afford to pay even a quarter towards it with the costs of paying for a flat to live in and bills, etc.

    Any ideas on the best way forward? The only real option appears to be to settle up completely, sell house, settle debts and share the few grand we'd have left at the end. However that would totally uproot the kids and everything is hard enough for them as it is. Is there a cost effective solution (ie. Avoiding solicitors!!)?
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    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 17th Oct 18, 11:23 AM
    • 401 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    Working Mum
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 18, 11:23 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 18, 11:23 AM
    I would strive to remain on good terms with your soon to be ex-wife. If solicitors get involved I have found that they could start a row in an empty house whilst charging lots of money for the privilege.

    The starting point for any financial arrangement is 50/50 - this (basically) lists all assets on one side and all debts on the other and the figure at the bottom is shared out.

    You may want to seek advice about how to repay your debts on another board on this Forum (i.e. pay them all off over time or move forward with a debt management plan) as there are real consequences to whichever path you choose.

    When I got divorced I strived to keep my kids in their home, their school and connected to their family as I had read this will lessen the negative impact of divorce on children. I did this by firstly agreeing to put the house up for sale with an agreed 75/25 split as I am self employed and had zero chance of getting a mortgage (it didn't sell but it was just after the crash) and agreeing with my ex-husband that he would continue to pay 25% of the mortgage as he had an accruing interest in the property along with 25% of the cost of the buildings insurance.

    We reviewed this situation regularly BUT one year my ex-husband lost his job and didn't pay me any child maintenance/school fees/etc for almost 2 years. We eventually did a deal where he waived the equity share in the marital home in lieu of the monies he owed me. His name is still on my mortgage as I am self employed and cannot get a mortgage in my sole name for what is outstanding despite trying!!

    We exchanged letters to cover myself and future position.

    Now, my ex-husband left me in over 90k of debt when he left having lead a double life for a year prior to him leaving.....he has married the lady he had an affair with and she bought their current home on a mortgage in her own name. He fudged the Form E details but I chose to move my life forward rather than fight him at every turn because I wanted peace and not involve my kids in anything nasty.

    I would recommend having counselling to get your head around your situation and to process things in a healthy way. Relate will often offer counselling free if you're unable to pay BUT will accept a donation if you can afford it. I read lots and lots online and sooooo many self help books!!

    wikivorce may be a good place for you to look.

    You are able to get the bones agreed together and keep things flexible by working with your soon to be ex-wife but it takes a lot of guts, love for the kids and taking your pride out of the situation!!

    Good luck
    Last edited by Working Mum; 17-10-2018 at 11:26 AM.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 17th Oct 18, 3:31 PM
    • 7,275 Posts
    • 9,504 Thanks
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 18, 3:31 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 18, 3:31 PM
    If you can afford the outgoings at the moment, but can't yet get the mortgage transferred or get your wife released, then you could agree on a settlement which delayed when those things happened.

    e.g. an agreement which sets out that you will remain in the house, that you will pay the mortgage etc, that you will do your best to get your wife released from the mortgage, and with a back-stop to say that if by [specific agreed date] you have not been able to get her released from the mortgage, that at that point the house will be sold and the sale proceeds used to clear the mortgage and other debts.

    The specific agreed date can be whenever you and she want it to be - for instance, you could agree a date shortly after your current mortgage fix ends, or after a set number of years.

    You could also look at an arrangement whereby she took responsibility for some of the debt and/or child care costs, perhaps of the basis that there is an agreement tat she is entitled to x% of the house when it is ultimately sold / once the children leave school.

    Once your wife moves out, are you planning that the children will spend tome with her in her home? You don't automatically have to have the same person as the primary carer for all of the children, and if you have an arrangements where child #1 'lives with mum, and spends (say) 3 days a week with dad, and Children #2 & #3 live with dad but have frequent contact with mum, you may fin that this has some advantages - Mum may qualify for tax credits which mean that there is a bit more income over all, so she can afford to contribute a bit more to the debts / child care costs,for instance. obviously it has to be true, but as you are planning to share care of the children it is worth looking at options for practical ways that can work.

    It may also be worth looking at figures to see whether there is any scope to length the term of the current mortgage or consolidate any of the other debt, to reduce the monthly payments in the short to medium term (it's not ideal as a long term strategy as it may mean you may more interest over all, but it's still worth looking at to see whether it is the most practical option in light of the change to your situation.
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