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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2725
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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We have 2 children boy 10, girl 4, my wife wants a divorce,

Resolved Question:

we have 2 children boy 10, girl 4, my wife wants a divorce, I am also about to be made redundant but want to have parental responsibility for the children. we have a £800k home with £400k equity with joint ownership on mortgage and paid into the mortgage equally thus far. she earns 95k pa and up until recently i earned 80k pa. I am prepared be full time "house husband" for the kids, she would not. what are my chances fighting for custody, child maintenance, spousal maintenace, etc with no job ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Are you in England or Wales?-Were you married at the time of the children's births and are you named as the father on their birth certificates?-What other assets do you both have, including pensions?-How long have you been married?-What are your prospects of gaining employment after the redundancy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we married 1.5 years after the birth of the first child yes i am named on birth certificate
approx £60k other assets
married 8 years in june
job prospects low for any job with similar salary, I am 45 years old and finding work increasingly difficult in declining industry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also want to know how assets (house equity), would be split if we went to divorce. if a) i had parental responsibility or b) if she did
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. For your 14 year old you do not have parental responsibility. This is because the law only changed in December 2003 in which unmarried father's obtained parental responsibility by being named on the birth certificate of the child. Nonetheless, this should not impact arrangements as this is what needs to be focussed on now. Your children have a right to a continued relationship with you both after separation, and the arrangements (where they live etc) will need to initially be agreed with your wife, and if this cannot be agreed then you will need to proceed with a court application for the children to live with you. The court will make a decision based on your children's best interests.In relation to the assets, you will need to reach a financial settlement alongside the divorce. The court's first concern will be housing the children - so for example, the court can allow the main carer of the children to remain in the former matrimonial home until the youngest reaches a certain age (eg. finishes education), after which the property will be sold and proceeds divided.The court's starting point will be a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets, and this equal split is departed from based on the following criteria:1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the explanation. I was hoping for some clarity on whether I would be more or less likely to be able to take parental responsibility for the children if I was no longer in employment, or whether I would be likely to get more or less than 50/50 based on my employment status.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Employment status itself will not impact on whether the children will be placed in your care or not. If you are unable to fully meet their needs then you can claim maintenance from the mother for financial support - the first option would be child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service which is a free service and calculates your wife's legal liability for child maintenance based on her gross salary and how many nights per week the children stay with her on average. You can then consider applying for spousal maintenance through the courts in relation to your needs.The main thing that the court will look at is whether you will be able to meet their needs and provide them good enough care.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would the fact that she would be working full time and therefore have to have an aupair to look after the children pre-school and after school until she returned from work be seen by the court as good enough care rather then me being able to provide that care for them?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
That would support yoir position for being their main carer as you will be in a position to meet their day to day needs whereas her employment will prevent her from doing so.Also, in relation yo parental responsibility, which is the right to be involved and consulted regarding major decisions in their upbringing, you do in fact have this for both children due to thr marriage.I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks very much Harris, you have been very helpful

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