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Is this a reasonable proposal

Posted by Itallstartshere 
Is this a reasonable proposal
May 05, 2021 12:11PM
I’d be interested in your perspective on this following settlement proposal.

2 children. 16 and 19. The 16 year old is in full time education. 19 year old is at uni.

My income has reduced from March from £100k gross (self employed) to zero as my contract of employment has ended. I have been unsuccessful finding a new job / contract. My ex husband earns £60k per annum

House has sold. £1,2m is currently sitting in a solicitor account pending settlement. This is from the family home sale. There is no mortgage outstanding.

I have £20k in savings which is for my self employed expenses tax etc so should be excluded from calculations

We keep our own cars and jewellery

We each get 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the house

Child maintenance as per cms calculation to the resident parent (me) £550 per month

As I am not working £1000 per month spousal maintenance. I am willing to take this as a lump sum and have suggested £18,000 is paid to me in a lump sum from the equity of the house as this may be more affordable for my ex and this gives me time to find another position. I am the resident parent. My ex is staying with family but said they will rent a home for them and the 16 year old if I no longer want to be the resident parent, it is not fair that I pay rent and they do not.

In respect of the 19 year old’s university expenses £400 per month should be paid to me to cover these until the degree ends. When the 16 year old leaves school and starts university cms will cease and £400 per month payable after to cover university costs.

I should be paid 50% of the difference in pension CETV rather than go to the expense of actuary report meaning £85k to be paid into a pension in my name via pension sharing order)

This is based on legal advice I have received but it has not been received positively, my ex says that the monthly £550 CMS, £400 uni costs and £1000 spousal maintenance is over 2/3 of their monthly salary and they could not house and maintain themselves on this basis.

Furthermore they say that when the proceeds from house sale are released they will be able to buy a property and will no longer pay the cms amount as the agreement is that both children will have a home with both parents on the basis of splitting their time between parents on an equal basis. Therefore we have equal housing needs.

I have now said that I will go to court and make an application. Do you think a judge is likely to agree with me?
Re: Is this a reasonable proposal
May 05, 2021 06:30PM
>>Do you think a judge is likely to agree with me?

No. There are a number of reasons but if you have had historic earnings of £100K compared to your husband's £60K I think seeking £1000 a month spousal maintenance from your husband is a bit rich. And if your husband is correct that all you are seeking would take two thirds of his income a judge is likely to ask why he should get up in the morning. It is your earning capacity that matters which so far as I can see makes this a clean break case.

And paying child maintenance to you for a 16 year old is one thing. Paying to you the uni costs of an adult child is quite another.

Also, the children are of such an age that they can vote with their feet. The fact is that you do have equal housing needs.
Re: Is this a reasonable proposal
May 06, 2021 08:28AM
Thank you for your honest reply. This proposal was suggested as a likely outcome from Court should we get there.

Can I ask what a reasonable proposal would be in these circumstances. I wonder why my solicitor would suggest it as it may make me look ill-informed. I don’t want to proceed with a court application if this is wildly off the mark.

When you say paying for an adult child is another thing, what does that mean? I was told that in some circumstances a court can make provisions for financial support for a child at uni.

In relation to this being a clean break case and equal housing needs what will that mean in real terms?

I appreciate your no nonsense advice.
Re: Is this a reasonable proposal
May 06, 2021 10:26AM
>>I wonder why my solicitor would suggest it as it may make me look ill-informed.

I can explain that to you quite simply. Say there are assets of £100K and the final outcome you want is to receive £50K. Very few people would enter that negotiation by saying, 'I want a 50/50 split'. The reason is because if you start off like that the chances are the other side will start of by saying, 'I think it ought to be a 60/40 split in my favour'. The negotiation might then end up by splitting the difference so that other other side ends up with 55 and you end up with 45.

In practice it often makes sense to over bid at the start of a negotiation so that the eventual outcome is nearer what you really expected. It is true that some people say, 'This is my offer, take it or leave it' and refuse to budge. That tends to be uncommon though because it leaves them open to accusations of 'refusing to negotiate'.

As to proposals that might result in settlement remember that there is nothing preventing you discussing it with your husband direct. It doesn't have to be done through solicitors and if you can speak directly it saves you both time and money. For what it's worth I think the key to this is recognising that you seem to have a greater earning capacity than your husband and that it is unreasonable to expect him to pay out a half of his income or more for an indeterminate period. The amount needs to be reduced and/or strictly limited in terms of time.

The notion that he should pay you a lump sum as an up front payment of maintenance is a non starter. Like most people he would feel cheated if the week after he paid you that lump sum you resumed your previous line of work.
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