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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34889
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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After 32 years of marriage we are trying to finalise the financial

Customer Question

After 32 years of marriage we are trying to finalise the financial settlement for divorce. My husband earns 2.5 x my salary. Our 3 children are at university and will stay in my house in the holidays (3- 5 months/yr). We are looking to capitalise the spousal maintenance so I can buy a house so enough room to house the children in their uni holidays. The family home was sold 4 months ago. Would a court award maintence and what % of the difference in our salaries?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
How much was the equity and what is the pension position for each of you?
How much will you need to purchase a suitable property?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The equity in the house was £360,000. I have assets of £50,000 and my husband approx £90,000. ( we each had £50,000 from sale of house 4 months ago). Pension pot for my husband is £945,000 ( £45,.000 /yr and lump sum - £140,000) + additional pension of £47,000 approx £2,500/yr and mine pension pot is £235,000 - lump sum of £35,000 and annual pension of £12,500. we are due to retire with this pension in 4 -5 years time and then state pension in another 6 years.

hope this is helpful.

I would like to buy house of £325,000. My ex husband has a partner with a house on market for £750,000 to be split with her ex husband.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Are you considering a pension sharing order?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. We both have NHS pensions. so money can be moved across. Starting point from my solicitor

is 50% split of joint pensions, My husbands solicitor was only proposing a 60% share in his favour and just 40% to me. Possibly we may have some agreement to a 55% split to my husband and 45% to me for larger % of assets but this is not fully agreed yet.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Were you married to each other for the entire length of each pension?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we were married at age 21 so yes married before start of paying into pension. We have been separated for last 3 years so a total of 32 + 3 years.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Unless you do get a larger share of the capital then it should be a straight 50/50 split.
The issue of spouse maintenance is much harder as it is based on "reasonable needs" - which is much harder to assess.
There is a VERY VERY old rule of thumb - that the wife's income should be at least a third of the joint income - but that is all it is an old guide replaced by the "reasonable needs" argument
A larger share of the equity - may be 65/35 might be a better option - but you need to work out what meets your needs best
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details