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Division of assets

Posted by Itallstartshere 
Division of assets
June 17, 2020 09:03AM
Good morning.

I am preparing for mediation, decree nisi is in place. I earn considerably more than him. His salary is around £63k. I have my own consultancy business (limited company) and my income is around £5500 net per month, I am working full time at present.

We have a house worth about £1.3m which needs to be sold and we have agreed to divide the equity (approx £1.1m) between us equally.

.Our eldest is in uni. My question is whether we are legally obliged to have the financial support we each agree to give to my son written into the consent order?

Our youngest child is 16. Is it reasonable for my husband to say that he will pay the child maintenance amount as per the online calculator until he leaves full time education after A levels and have this written into the consent order. He tells me that he will give what he can in addition based on his disposable income.

The plan is that my son will live with me for 5 days and with his dad 2 days. In reality at 16 it is likely this could change as he is his own person and where he stays will be dependent on his own plans which we both understand. In your opinion does the maintenance sound reasonable based on the outline of our circumstances?

We are in our 50’s me 50, him 53. As I am the higher earner, could he claim spousal Maintenance?

He has accumulated a public service final salary Pension scheme over the last 20 years. I have some pension but not not of equal value to his. Would I be entitled to have a claim on this given I am the higher earner?

I’d appreciate your perspective on my situation. I’m trying to avoid court, looking for a clean break. If I can I also want to avoid solicitor negotiation.
Thank you in advance
Re: Division of assets
June 17, 2020 10:51AM
>>Our eldest is in uni. My question is whether we are legally obliged to have the financial support we each agree to give to my son written into the consent order?

No, it is not necessary to put that into any court order.

>>Is it reasonable for my husband to say that he will pay the child maintenance amount as per the online calculator until he leaves full time education after A levels and have this written into the consent order.

It sounds reasonable to me. Why should you think otherwise?

>>We are in our 50’s me 50, him 53. As I am the higher earner, could he claim spousal Maintenance?

Yes, although it is unlikely such a claim would succeed. That is not to say that your higher earnings might not be taken into account.

>>He has accumulated a public service final salary Pension scheme over the last 20 years. I have some pension but not not of equal value to his. Would I be entitled to have a claim on this given I am the higher earner?

Possibly but it is impossible to say without knowing the figures. However, there are two caveats to this. (1) Bearing in mind that you are the higher earner and that you are younger than your husband any pension claim you may have could be reduced because of these factors. (2) Also the fact that you are the higher earner is relevant to your respective mortgage capacities (as is your age). It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the equity should not be divided equally but somewhat in favour of your husband. I would expect that point to be raised in response to a pension sharing claim by you. None of this is to say that you do not have a pension sharing claim but it is not quite as simple as treating it as an independent issue unconnected to anything else.
Re: Division of assets
June 17, 2020 11:30AM
Thank you for your quick and helpful response.

I’m in the dark about CETV at present as we are awaiting these from our pension providers.

I had not considered that My husband may be entitled to more than 50% of the equity. I guess I need to wait for the valuations of the pensions and decide whether the risk getting less than 50% of the equity is worth the risk for a proportion of his pension.

In terms of child maintenance my son needs educational tuition paid for to support him in his education so I would expect my husband to contribute to this in addition to the child maintenance although he is saying he won’t write that into the consent order but will endeavour to pay this. I prefer to have it in writing that he will pay towards tuition however if legally I can’t I’d rather know now. He has agreed to have the calculated child maintenance written into the order.

I didn’t want this divorce and I want mine and my children’s standards of living to me maintained as best as possible. He had affairs throughout the marriage and I don’t want to go to court, I want to ensure i get what I am entitled to. If that means going to court I will, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot and lose real time money via equity for pension which is meaningless to me at the moment.

Thank you once again for the clarity of your response.
Re: Division of assets
June 17, 2020 02:14PM
>>I want mine and my children’s standards of living to me maintained as best as possible.

If the same total income has to support two households rather than one after divorce then it is almost inevitable the standard of living of both spouses will fall in most cases. The courts are not about preserving standards of living.

>>He had affairs throughout the marriage and I don’t want to go to court,

In most cases that is just a symptom of a broken marriage. When you first became aware of it you had a choice whether you wished to continue with the marriage or not. That choice was yours to make.
Re: Division of assets
June 25, 2020 09:09PM
Hello again and thank you,for the information so far.

I don’t know if I am being fair or unreasonable, however I expect the consent order to state we will each pay 50% of the children’s expenses, in relation to my youngest this includes tutoring, clothing, trips, social activities and so on. I also want my ex husband to pay 50% of the dog’s expenses. He says he is not having the minutiae written down, but will have the maintenance amount written down as per the online calculator and pay what he can on top of this as morally this is what he wants to do.

He says because I earn more it’s not a straight forward 50/50 split of expenses and if I insist on having the minutiae written he will not agree to 50%. He said paying 50% reduces his mortgage raising capacity. He also said that he wants it written that the youngest (aged 15) will live 50/50 between us according to his wishes and his own arrangements. Can he insist this? At 15 yrs what would a court say? Is a child arrangement order needed?

I apologise, I realise I have asked many questions.

I’ve had so many different opinions, I appreciate the straightforward nature of your reply
Re: Division of assets
June 27, 2020 05:31PM
Your husband has a point about not formally including contributions to clothing, trips, tutoring etc in any court order. Quite apart from the fact that I would struggle to see why dividing such costs equally would be fair when your earn more than your husband there is also the issue that he raises of adversely affecting his mortgage capacity. There are two other points. (1) What is child maintenance for if not to pay for things such as clothing? This looks like double counting to me. (2) It is all very well referring to costs such as tutoring etc but I think anyone in your husband's position would be legitimately concerned that he would be giving you an incentive to incur such expenses. He could, in effect, be writing you blank cheques.

As to the dog, well, if the dog will live with you then you should pay for it. There is no maintenance for dogs. (And I have six large dogs so don't assume that only someone who was not a dog lover would say this).

In practice a 15 year old child can chose with which parent he/she wishes to live. If the child wishes that arrangement then in practice it will not be possible to stop it. No, a child arrangements order is not necessary. Courts do not routinely make orders about children and there is a presumption against making such orders unless the circumstances are exceptional.
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