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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33304
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I am trying to divorce my husband, we no longer live together

Customer Question

I am trying to divorce my husband, we no longer live together after 17 years. We were married for 13 years when we finally sold the family home and bought separate dwellings. I have the two children living with me. I have a host of questions regarding finance settlement and custody/visitation. I have all the figures although they were up to date in 2013 and need advice regarding a property outside of the UK, UK law/ Canadian law, What is the standard split of assets is it 50/50 or 60/40 etc. No.1 son has Asperger's and both were forced out of their private schools as their dad said he couldn't afford to pay. They are not doing as well in the local state school. Their dad tried to commit suicide before the breakup (which was the final straw and I'm not convinced that he is mentally stable, although he puts on a very good Façade.) He was also diagnosed with Asperger's. I need to get No1 son back into private for September. Do I have any chance of this? (I earn peanuts, gave up a 75k job to look after the children) I got 60% of the house so that I could buy a home for me and the boys. he got 40%, this made him cross. He wants 100% of the house in Canada and I'm not asking for any of his pensions. I want 60/40 or 50/50 on the house in Canada. How can I achieve this? Can we use the house in Canada (which is current rented out for a year) to put it in trust for the boys private education, after the year is up, if we can sell it? Is it possible for the courts to order this? No 2 son is very intelligent and isn't progressing as well at all in the state sector so they both need private for different reasons. I am trying for better jobs, but my skills are very old now and employers seem a little short sighted. I have asked my husband if he will pay 700pm for the school fees and not any maintenance and he hasn't responded.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much are the assets worth and what income does your ex have
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,


Husbands income is approximately 50k not sure as he has changed jobs. But he is oncall so that is about right.


Assets i.e. house is approx 80k after all expenses.we already split family home and got a car each.


Pensions are not being touched at this point as main one existed prior to the relationship, but dropped in value due to equitable life but has now fully recovered.


Sue

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
So there are three properties involved all worth much the same?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My home is worth 200000 after expenses amd mortgage. His is worth 125k after expenses and mortgage.his pension is approx 200k and mine Is 40k.


Thanks I believe you know my friend Blanche, she recommended your service to me.


 


Sue

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much is the Canadian property worth?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Think I've answered that 80 after expenses and mortgage

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies - I had misunderstood the reply you gave - my fault entirely!
How much is he paying in Child Maintenance and how much is needed for the school fees?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Maintenance is 530 and I've suggested 700 for fees but they are at least 1200 per month. I would have to find short fall which is not possible on my current salary (21k)

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is the maintenance paid by agreement or via the CSA?
How often does he have them overnight?
How far have the Divorce proceedings reached?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No divorce proceedings yet. I've just asked him to agree to a two year separation divorce.


He has the boys on average 1.5 nights a week (Wednesdays and every other weekend)


Are you based in north America?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Csa are Involved as he is a month in areers and stopped paying for two months but then caught up a month. So he is still behind a month plus a month in arears.


We do not pay Csa as it is only in an admin/instruction role.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Within the divorce proceedings the starting point for division of all the assets is 50/50 - but the court has wide power to vary from this and the first priority is usually the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18.
From all that you have said it is likely that in the event of a dispute the Court would Order the sale of the Canadian property and a 50/50 division of the equity.
This is on the basis that you did receive slightly more from the matrimonial home which allowed you to rehouse the children
You would also be entitled to a Pension Sharing Order
The position on school fees is more complicated.
You can certainly apply for an Order that he pays them - but unless there was always a clear agreement that the children would have private education there is no guarantee of success -
However you do have some "bargaining points" - such as not claiming on his pensions provided he pays the fees or (assuming "peanuts" is less than £20,000) agreeing not to make any claim for spouse maintenance
You could have these discussions with your ex using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.org.uk) to help you have a structure to the negotiations
If he doe snot agree then you may need to reconsider your position and seek an immediate divorce so that you can make a financial claim within the divorce proceedings
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,


How much would I be entitled to from the pensions


And how much maintenance could I receive for me?


I earn 21k pa


Thanks


Sue

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
You are entitled to a pension sharing order equal to 50% of the pensions that accrued whilst you were married.
Your claim for spouse maintenance is limited - maybe £2000 a year - but that can only be the very roughest of guides
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

For bargaining purposes, Clare, how long would I be entitled to spousal maintenance?


Does that also mean that he is entitled to 50% of my pensions?


Can you clarify whether "while you were together" includes living together prior to marriage?


Does it make a difference if I can prove that I put. £65k into the Canadian property?


I have a deed of trust on my mother's house which is in her name and worth 250k. I paid for it out of my own income Predominantly prior to the marrage by buying a 3rd property and renting it out to pay both mortgages. Sold property and paid off my mother's mortgage and put cash lump sum iinto Canadian property. Would this impact the finances. I cant have the property until she dies and I'm sure as my mother is cantankerous she will write a will to leave it to the dogs home.


Sue

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your eligibility is limited - so maybe two or three years to allow you to retrain
Yes there will have to be a balancing of pensions before a pension Sharing Order
I cannot see where i have used that phrase so cannot comment
Unfortunately not
In fact the fact that you have a clear and enforceable interest in a further property weakens your claims and could gain your ex a larger share of the Canadian property - far better to forgo the limited claim for spouse maintenance
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So what we're saying here is that the children don't have any rights to the schooling to which they became accustom and need now more than ever as it coming close to their exams? And the wife who earns peanuts trying to get the kids back into private school has to take sole responsibility for doing it despite it being. Joint decision prior to the splt?


I know this sounds emotive, but ultimately it's about. Money share and not how much I gave up to bring up the children which I thought was taken into consideration. I guess the only fair way forward is to use thwe bargaining chips to see if he will agree to pay 700pm towards the school fees and remortgage my house to pay for the fees, if that is even possible on my salary.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You can certainly make a Children Act application in respect of the fees - there is simply no guarantee of success
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have sent my estranged husband a letter seeking divorce under the 2 year separation and he has not replied. what is the cheapest way that I can obtain a divorce? Does he have to agree to the 2 year separation in order for this to be the way forward? What are the options if he simply ignores the emails? Can I do this by myself or do I need legal representation as this is very expensive?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
To use the Two year separation ground you need his consent.
You should write and say that if he agrees (In writing) to a divorce on this ground then you will not claim costs - if he does not then you will apply for a divorce base don his Unreasonable Behaviour (it doe snot have to be dreadful - just annoying)
The cost is the same either way
Details here
https://www.gov.uk/divorce/overview
Clare

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