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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife and I have been separated a year but not legally

Customer Question

My wife and I have been separated for over a year but not legally and I need to sort things as we move towards a divorce.
There seems to be a real focus on the financial arrangements with 3 children 12,15 and 17 years of age all in Public School, there has been no real change to the financial arrangements with my wife remaining in the family home , me contributing £1000 per month and paying for all the school fees; as I have just retired I cannot sustain this beyond this academic year and really need to sort my finance.
My wife seems very focussed on "taking me to the cleaners" and is telling me she will be coming after my pension, I am 56 and don't want to access it until I'm 60 but she tells me that although she has worked throughout the marriage of 18 years she will be taking some of my pension, is that correct?
My mum is 86 this year and is worried that some of my inheritance I receive will be taken by my wife?
Finally I am working as a self employed consultant and my wife is an HMI Ofsted Inspector, I felt that was worth noting as she earns good money and I assume moving forward that if the children are to remain in Public School there will have to be some give and take
Bit rambling apologies
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
In relation to child maintenance, the statutory amount you should be paying is in accordance to your gross salary and how many nights on average the children spend with you - if you can confirm these details I will be able to calculate the legal amount you should be paying.
In relation to spousal maintenance, properties, assets, savings and pensions - this will be more complicated and you will both need to provide full and frank disclosure to each other regarding your respective financial positions and needs. The court will also take into account the following criteria when deciding what a fair settlement should be:
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.
Inheritance is not automatically considered as a matrimonial asset, however (if it is received before a final order is granted) and the current matrimonial assets do not meet your needs, her needs and the children's needs then inheritance will be taken into account.
In the first instance you should make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local mediators here: who can assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement, and if this is reached the agreement can be submitted to court for approval.
If you are able to provide more details about assets and financial positions I can give you more detailed information.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I have been a family lawyer for more than 30 years.If you woudl like some more specific information we would need to know how much the house is worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage; what other assets there are and what income you each have.What is the current Cash Equivalent Transfer Value of the pensions - yours and hers?
Expert:  Harris replied 2 years ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.