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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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My solicitor and I are going to make a proposal to my ex in

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My solicitor and I are going to make a proposal to my ex in advance of the FDR.
Wee are both 55, have been married 32 years and there is a 27 k difference in our salaries (more, but my ex is not declaring consultancy money he earns). Over the ten years until we retire this represents 270k on our current salaries. I would like to be able to afford the same kind of house on separation as my husband will. As it stands his far greater income and earning power mean he will be able to afford a bigger mortgage and much nicer property than me going forward. Can I ask for the difference in our salaries 135k to be reflected in the split of the equitable value of our house (550k)? When we first married I had the same degree and education as my ex. I have given up a large part of my life following his jobs abroad and looking after our children.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What do you each actually earn and what is the Pension position?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I earn nearly £50k per annum while my ex earns £77k per annum plus consultancy money, unknown.

We both have pensions. His is worth £400k while mine is worth half that.

I am sorry but given those figures spouse maintenance is unlikely to be an issue.
You are certainly entitled to a pension sharing order to balance the pensions to compensate for your lost years but I am afraid that there is no requirement that your houses should match where there are no children involved.
However it is worth asking for a 60/40 split to reflect your lost earning years - it is certainly an argument that can be made and one the court may feel is valid
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

Thanks for your response.

Is there any reason why our future houses should not be equitable given that the each of the partners are supposed to be given an equal start in their new lives going forward?

I am not sure where you git the impression that this was the aim of the court or a requirement of any sort - I am afraid it is not.
The criteria is listed here
assessing needs is not the same as achieving equality I am afraid.
Provided your basic housing needs are met then that meets the requirement
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Is there a calculation that my 'lost earnings' would be based on?

For example, could it be supposed that my salary would have been the same as my ex's by now, were it not for my career sacrifice?

And based on that assumption, my lost earnings would have represented an additional £27k over the next ten years until retirement...

Thanks for your advice

No there is no calculation involved as it is not actually part of the criteria - it is merely an argument to use for the court
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks. It all seems a bit hit and miss. As my solicitor said, six different judges give six different verdicts. I've been advised to get a barrister if if goes to FH. In your experience how do they help?
Yes there can be differences - but they all work within the same guidelines so whilst there will be variations they shoudl all fall within a band of possible settlements
A Barrister for the Final Hearing can help if your solicitor is not experienced in cross examination - it is a very real skill that not everyone has!
They are also more specialised and more likely to be aware of the very latest developments in case law
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you