I am in the middle of a divorce settlement but my wife is offering me very little. The total equity we have is around £400,000 so £200,000 each but she is only offering £40,000 with the rest to be secured by a charge against the property to be repaid when my youngest daughter turns 18 (in 16 years). We have 3 children. She works part time and receives some benefits and maintenance from me. I don't earn much either at the moment. With £40,000 I have no chance of buying my own place where the children can visit. I am considering refusing to agree to her terms as I asked her to try to raise some finance to pay some of the debt to me, not all but she is just refusing saying she can't. I know she can but she hasn't even tried. In addition, the main house is worth £500,000 whilst she could downsize to a house with the same number of bedrooms for £300,000. She won't even consider it.Do i contest and let the courts decide? or just go along? I know there is no definite answer as depends on the court and the judge etc but still, an opinion would be nice.
What ages are your children?
2, 8 and 10
Whether the court would order the sale of the house would really depend on what she could buy for £200,000 or £300,000. From the fact to you give she won't even consider a £300,000 house because she wants to carry on in the style to which she is accustomed. Unfortunately for her with the amount of equity in the house she is not on good ground. You are playing poker. You may go to court and the court may have sympathy with her and allow her to stay in the house until the youngest child reaches 18. She would be responsible for the mortgage and all the outgoings meanwhile and the property would then be sold and you would get your money. Alternatively, you might want to take a lesser amount now rather than wait 16 years for it! Would you, for example, let her have £300,000 of the equity provided you got £100,000 now? There is no exact formula for this and the court looks on each case on its merits and on taking all the finances of the marriage into account. If you have no the dependent children you are liable to pay her 25% of your take-home pay as maintenance for the three children. You do have to pay her anything else or contribute to clothing or school fees etc unless you wish to. She may be eligible for spousal maintenance, to keep in a reasonable lifestyle but there is no exact formula for that and whether she would get it would depend upon her income, your income, previous lifestyle, and her need. This link will explain a bit more http://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/family/divorce_and_dissolution/maintenance/500184.html
If she were to stay in the house, would she be able to afford the mortgage on her own?
Can I help further? Please don't forget to positively rate my answer, (even if it isn't what you wanted to hear), and I will follow up any points you raise for free. If you don't rate it positively then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for my time.
The thread remains open for you to ask follow-up questions. Thanks
She took over the household bills in October. I was paying all of the bills for 5 months after we separated even though I was not there. I now pay her maintenance.
My concern is that I contest what she wants, we go to court and it drags for a very long time and she gets what she wants anyway. If so, I may as well just agree now.
She is managing the bills for now but interest rates are very low. The minute they go up, the mortgage payments will be higher.
I suggested that she get a house for £300,000. Give me £50,000 extra to help me buy a place and use the £250k she would have left as a deposit. That would leave her with a very manageable £50k mortgage. The rest she owes me I can take a charge on the new property. Do you think I am being unreasonable?
I know she can downsize but she obviously doesn't want to.
I think your proposition is reasonable and provided she can buy our house for the £300,000 you are suggesting, and the fact that she has to move or buy a slightly smaller house is not of concern to the court.
Can I help further? Please don't forget to rate my answer. Thank you
PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).