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Divorce Financial Advice

Posted by TPTeeps 
Divorce Financial Advice
August 26, 2022 04:30PM

My wife has recently fallen out of love with me and would like to plan to divorce.
I want to know where I stand financially.

Please could you help.

We have a property and 2 children.
Children we aim to have time 50/50, but I would like to try and support the children with a type of child maintenance, even though the time should be split 50/50
We should get atleast £290k in equity.
£80k of this was a gift from her mother, leaving £210k split @ £105k each. (£185k for her including the gift)
She currently earns a low part time salary at around £12k a year and I earn about £50k.

I am worried I would be required to pay a spousal maintenance, which generally can be a large sum, (it potentially could cripple my ability to buy my own place).
Would I be required to pay spousal maintenance if she has a lump sum of £185k sitting in the bank, or in property?

Thank you
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 26, 2022 05:14PM
You do not say how long you and your wife have been together, the ages of the children and whether your wife could actually increase her hours. These things (and perhaps others) would be relevant to how this pans out.

Assuming that the matrimonial home is jointly owned and that her mother's gift contributed to the purchase of that property it is not actually the case that your wife should get the gift back before the balance is divided equally. After all, I assume it was mainly you who paid the mortgage. I take it that your wife is not suggesting that you get that back before the equity is divided?

That is not to say that the equity will be divided equally. There may be good reasons for dividing it unequally. In particular it will depend upon where you will each live after divorce and how that will be funded. On the figures you have mentioned where would your wife actually live if the matrimonial home was sold and she received £185K (or some other sum)? Could she buy a suitable property with that sum and her own limited mortgage capacity? These are the questions that really matter.
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 26, 2022 06:20PM
Thank You David Terry

Wife and I married have been married for 12 years 6 months.
Children are 8 and 11.
She can increase her hours, but not by a huge amount in her current job. She currently only works when the children are at school.

The gift was signed by a solicitor like a prenup, where I couldnt take that money if we split.
If she leaves with £185k its possible that she wouldnt be able to get a new mortgage because of her low income, even with £185k deposit.

We are both on the mortgage, but I have solely paid the mortgage and other bills over the last 11 years. Any money she has earnt has either gone on luxuries or school type payments ie school lunches, (all fair and required purchasing)
The idea is that we sell the house getting us these estimated equity values.
I am just concerned that having to pay spousal maintance will allow her to get a mortgage, but stop me from being able to.

Just finding it difficult as she has been the one to leave me because of falling out of love.
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 27, 2022 09:57AM
>>The gift was signed by a solicitor like a prenup, where I couldnt take that money if we split.

Well, I think you will find that now doesn't amount to a heap of beans because of the length of the relationship. Although it is true that courts now do attach more importance to prenuptial agreements than they used to the fact is that too much water has passed under the bridge for this document to be decisive. The money has gone into the matrimonial home from which you also benefit after all.

Having said that, it may not matter much. The reason is that if the matrimonial home is sold then it seems inevitable that your wife will receive a greater share of the equity because of (a) the cost of alternative accommodation and (b) her lower mortgage capacity.

What you really do not want to happen is for her to remain in the matrimonial home and for you to remain on that mortgage because if you do remain on that mortgage that will make it next to impossible to get a separate mortgage of your own. It is true that if she were to remain in the matrimonial home she would have to promise to use what are called her 'best endeavours' to get you removed from the mortgage but in reality she will not be able to do so because of her low income and because the mortgage lender would have no incentive to release you.

Therefore it is in your interests for the matrimonial home to be sold in order to get you off the mortgage even if that means that your wife gets most of the equity. In fact it is probably worth giving her more of the equity in return for you getting a clean break (ie no spousal maintenance). If the children live with her she will have her own income, child maintenance from you and child benefit. It should therefore be possible for you to have a clean break. How much of the equity she needs will depend upon what the cost of suitable accommodation for her and the children would be. In order to be able to move on it is probably in your interests to let her have more equity than you want in order to have a clean break. At least that way you would probably be able to get a mortgage of your own in due course and know that child maintenance has a finite end date.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2022 02:53PM by David Terry.
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 27, 2022 11:00AM
@tpteeps I do feel for you, I was in that situation 13 years ago, I won’t lie and tell you it’s going to be easy because it won’t be but maintain your dignity and believe me you will come out of this a better person. It was devastating for me but I can safely say that for the past 10 years I have been living my best life and realise that whilst I thought I was happy, it took her leaving to show me that I can be happier. Good luck.
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 28, 2022 11:03PM
Thanks David Terry
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 28, 2022 11:04PM
Thank you for the nice words.
I removed my wedding ring today, it was such a big step for me, but it's progress
Re: Divorce Financial Advice
August 30, 2022 07:00PM
That’s good, it’s a sign of moving on. I didn’t tell anyone at work for months that we had split up and I didn’t change my Facebook profite from Married to Single until after the decree absolute.
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