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Rent and Pension Split Advice

Posted by JB75 
Rent and Pension Split Advice
May 30, 2022 09:35PM
Hi

My wife and I just about to begin 'no fault' divorce proceedings and I need to know where I stand with regard to rent payments and pension arrangements. We are renting and, as the main bread-winner, I am paying the entirety of rent and household bills. I am going to be moving out of our rented house shortly (my own choice) and I am happy to continue paying the rent and bills during the divorce process - but need to know that this will stop once the divorce is finalised. (I am applying for a clean break/financial consent order.)

Also, we both have pension arrangements in place - my wife previously worked full-time for the local authority for nearly 30 years, so will have a fair amount of pension contributions accumulated. Again, I need to know that once the divorce is finalised - that we can each keep our own pension (I have no desire to claim any of her pension and, equally, no interest in sharing my own pension).

Is it correct to say that as long as we both agree to these terms (me ending rent payments upon divorce being finalised and keeping our own pensions), that this is what will happen?

I guess I am concerned about any further commitments once the divorce is finalised.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!

JB
Re: Rent and Pension Split Advice
May 31, 2022 10:39AM
>>Is it correct to say that as long as we both agree to these terms (me ending rent payments upon divorce being finalised and keeping our own pensions), that this is what will happen? <<

No, your understanding is wrong. You do not say how long you have been married or what your respective ages and incomes are. These are all very important. There is a big difference between having been married for a year and for twenty or thirty years. Details such as this would have a very big impact upon the outcome. For instance, if this was not a short marriage and your pension was worth twice as much as that of your wife it is very unlikely that it would be fair that you each just keep your own pensions. Similarly whether it would be reasonable for rent payments to continue (or periodical payments to enable your wife to pay them) would depend upon what your respective housing needs, financial circumstances and incomes were as well upon factors such as age and earning capacity.
Re: Rent and Pension Split Advice
May 31, 2022 11:19AM
Thanks for your reply - some further information about us both.

I am 46, employed full-time in an IT role since April 2021 and earning a basic salary of £40,000 p.a.
My wife is 53, and is a self-employed Pilates instructor, photographer, and cleaner - currently earning approx. £12,000 p.a. in total.

We have been married nearly 7 years.

I don’t currently have all my pension details to hand - but I have always only contributed the minimum amount into my pensions. I have HM Forces pension contributions of 3 years and then approx. a further 20 years pension contributions through various jobs - not all well paid/IT-related.

My wife previously worked as a Nursery Nurse for the local authority in total for approx. 29 years and ended this career (of her own choice) in 2017 earning approx. £19,500 p.a. at the time. I believe she will have local authority pension contributions for 29 years.

In terms of ‘housing needs’ - what do these entail in the eyes of the courts? (We have no children or other dependents.)

The aspect, I suppose, I would have difficulty accepting in all of this - is that if we, as two consenting adults, are able to come to an agreement ourselves on finances, rent, and pensions - would the court not respect this and simply rubber stamp what we have agreed?

Please could you share your thoughts, given this further information?

Many thanks.

JB



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2022 01:58PM by JB75.
Re: Rent and Pension Split Advice
May 31, 2022 02:27PM
>>The aspect, I suppose, I would have difficulty accepting in all of this - is that if we, as two consenting adults, are able to come to an agreement ourselves on finances, rent, and pensions - would the court not respect this and simply rubber stamp what we have agreed?<<

Courts do not act as rubber stamps. Nor can consenting adults do whatever they wish. They are constrained by laws and the courts apply divorce law as laid down by Parliament. So far as financial settlements in divorce are concerned courts will not approve terms which they regard as unreasonable.

On these facts you earn much more than your wife, she is older than you are and it is a marriage of not insignificant length. Neither of you can come to any informed agreement without each of you knowing what your respective pensions are worth. Until you each know that it is impossible to say whether it would be fair for each of you to simply walk away with your own pensions.

More difficult is the issue of where your wife will live after divorce and how it will be paid for. It is not good enough to say, for example, that she should live in a bedsit somewhere because that is all she can afford on her income while you live in markedly better accommodation in greater financial ease. In these circumstances I think it is rather unlikely that you will simply be able to stop helping your wife with her accommodation costs as soon as you have a divorce. How long you are going to help with her rent rather depends on where she is going to live going forward and where it is reasonable to expect her to live.
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