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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Married 10 years, 2 children aged 5. Husband high earner,

Customer Question

Married 10 years, 2 children aged 5. Husband high earner, been out of work 18 months refusing to get a job while setting up own business. Drained family savings of 100k for living expenses. Wife filed for divorce March and obtained a term time job circa 11k a year. Husband in receipt of new job offer for 200k a year including bonus, excluding equity shares. Husband to be contracted so will save on tax payments,and will take home approx 11k a month. Children no longer to go to privates schools - saving some 430k over their schooling life.
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: uk
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: house is the only asset. i have asked for 85% as i cannot get a mortgage and would just about be able to buy a small house, less desirable area outright. i have worked out we 'need' 2'500 a month more than my wages and benefits and i also think he should share his 'bonus'. he will agree to 85% of house but minimal legal child maintenance and nominal spousal. what do you think? should i offer a meshed of say 20% on the new house i buy - what are my options
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: he will get approx 75k from house sale - no savings - no pension (me either) but with his earning capacity being so high what is a fair financial split?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How much is the Matrimonial Home worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

What Pension provision is there?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hello the house is worth 875'000 and there is a mortgage of 400'000 left
no pensions provisions
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

How much do you need for a new property - mortgage free?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
how do i calculate this -? a semi detached ( we now live in a detached ) 3 bedroom in a semi nice area is approx 450'000
but don't know what i would be 'expected' to look at housing wise
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

A reasonable area and a reasonable property - so yes a semi unless there is a terrace!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok with that in mind what settlement would you say was fair to both parties?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

How much does he intend to offer as Child Maintenance?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
he proposes1698 a month if i don't claim spousal or a % of his bonus
i earn approx 800 and estimate about the same in child benefit
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

How often will he have the chidlren overnight?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
husband doesn't think wage including bonus should be factored - (should it?) wage without bonus is 150'000
children will overnight once a week at most
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Would you prefer a mortgage free house or more maintenance?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
mortgage free house
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

That is achievable if you sacrifice your spouse maintenance claim

Hold out for the amount that you need - the £450,000 and point out that he has a very large spouse maintenance liability which you will forgo.

(This will of course leave you free to remarry or cohabit if you wish with no loss)

So far as Child Maintenance is concerned that is a percentage of his income from ALL sources - details here

Now tactically you may decide not to mention that you know that and say that you will accept his offer

Provided it does NOT go on the Court Order you can then turn around afterwards and contact the CMS and get the right amount....

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you
he is offering 400k not 450k and he won't budge on that as it would leave him with only 25k. his lawyers have already advised a mesher on my new property on the agreed 400k but at the moment he has agreed not to
also, sorry , what should not go on the court order?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Play just as tough a game.

If he wants a Mesher Order you want at least two years worth of Spouse maintenance

Keep the Child maintenance out of the court order

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
to review -
i agree the 400k from the house or do i push for more? if its more - would a court deem it 'fair' that he only gets 25k assets in total??
i agree to his offer of 1698 child maintenance (but do not put in consent order) - what reason do i give as we had said we wld put this in the consent order
also how do i know if he makes his bonuses? only over 170k would his offer on child maintenance fall below what CMS would tell him to pay
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
just out of interest had i said 'more maintenance' what would my choice be then
thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Then I would have suggested having a 30% Charge back and realistic Spouse maintenance until the children leave Primary school - if not longer

Simply say that you wish to leave child maintenance out of the Order.

If they are pushy point out that you could apply for an interim order which allows you sufficient to pay your legal charges

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thank you - much appreciated - you have given me more advice than my so called legal team
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

You are welcome - I hope all goes well

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