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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33507
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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Clare - I don't know, really - I'm curious, I suppose. My husband left me

Resolved Question:

Hello Clare - I don't know, really - I'm curious, I suppose. My husband left me in 2007, and my younger daughter and I stayed in the family home as she was just starting A levels. He remarried a couple of years later. We sold the family home when that daughter went to uni, and did very well. Out of the proceeds, we bought a flat for our girls and split the remainer equally between the two of us. He is now living in Germany with the new wife, as an ex-pat. He's a captain on 747s with BA (- are you still with me?!) Anyway, as a private agreement he started paying me £600 a month about 4 years ago for the mooring fees for the Dutch barge I bought when he left. He doesn't pay me anything else. I sold the boat after 2 years, but did really badly out of the sale and have been left with no capital. I work as a freelance translator and earn a good income, but I wonder whether he is actually obliged (as a much higher earner) to pay me more, and in particular am I entitled to any of his pension.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
was there a final financial Order made within the divorce proceedings?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello again - no, nothing like that. He divorced me, and did it all online. In fact, I didn't find out until a couple of months later that we were divorced (although I knew it was happening; it just took a while for the paperwork to be sent to me). He did say at the time that if I needed help I only had to ask. It galls me now to have to ask him and know that he is discussing with his new wife what they should let me have, so I would really like to know where I stand before I write to him. We did very well out of the sale of our lovely old home in 2007, and with the proceeds we bought a flat for our daughters. I bought a Dutch barge, and he went to live in Germany as an ex-pat, where he pays 10% income tax. We didn't discuss maintenance at the time, but after a couple of years I asked him if he would pay the mooring fees for the boat, which at the time were £600 a month. I sold the boat three years ago at quite a loss, and am not in a position to buy my own property. He still pays me the £600, and I earn around £50k a year as a freelance translator. I know I'm a lot better off than a lot of women in my position, but I am aware that I don't have much of a pension (although I don't plan to retire) and don't own a property - and living expenses are really quite high. The house I rent belongs to my daughter and son-in-law, and they have said I will always have a home with them. However, my husband earns a lot more than I do, and my life has changed far more since the divorce than his has (and he had a lot of money stashed away before the divorce, as the arrangement was that he paid the mortgage, running expenses for the house and the girls' school fees. I paid the extras for them - uniform, trips, music lessons - and the household side of things, ran my car and paid vet's bills). There's little money left over for extras, but more importantly his new wife is enjoying the lifestyle he and I should have been sharing. She's a flight attendant with BA with no children, 20 years younger than he is, and between them they will have a lot more left over at the end of the month than I do, plus they're in their own mortgage-free home. I had hoped at the time of the divorce never to have to ask him for anything, but 7 years down the line the situation is slightly different. I do hope all this isn't too jumbled and that I don't sound whiny, but if I am entitled to more than I am currently getting, it would be lovely to know and even be in a position to put money away for the future (and perhaps even cope the rather large dentist's bill I am expecting!). Best wishes, Mo

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How much does your ex earn and what capital do you each now have?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello -

As a senior Captain with BA, he will be earning between £100k and £120k a year. I earn about £50k. I have no capital now and I have no idea of his financial situation, but I do know he had significant savings at the time of the divorce. I got no share of the savings when we divorced, only of the proceeds of the house sale.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

As a senior Captain with BA, he will be earning between £100k and £120k a year. I earn about £50k. I have no capital now and I have no idea of his financial situation, but I do know he had significant savings at the time of the divorce. I got no share of the savings when we divorced, only of the proceeds of the house sale.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What about your respective pension positions?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I stopped paying into my pension fund about 4 years ago. At the moment it amounts to about £14k. However, my former husband will be getting an extremely healthy pension, as it will be based (I can't remember the exact details) on the last three years of his salary.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How long did you live together in total?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He left the year of our 25th anniversary, in 2007. We married in December 1982, and were divorced in July 2009.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did you live together prior to the marriage?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, on and off for three years. We met in Germany, where I grew up, when he was based there.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The fact that there was no formal financial settlement and that YOU have not remarried does mean that your potential financial claims against your ex remain in place.
From what you have said the capital assets were divided equally between you - assuming of course that you actually agreed with using some of the funds to purchase a property for your daughters - and frankly the difference in your incomes is not so great that it is likely to trigger a spouse maintenance award.
However it is also clear that the substantial inequity in the pensions was NOT dealt with and this does give you negotiating room.
You were entitled to half of the pension that accrued during the years that you were together and
indeed arguably you were also eligible for a slightly larger share of the equity in the matrimonial home .
It will be difficult to get a pension sharing order at this stage - where the actual pot is split in two and part put in your name - but it is certainly possible to either negotiate a Lump Sum payment OR an ongoing maintenance payment instead.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33507
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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