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EnglishRose

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Subject: Spousal Maintenance Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

..and it is possbile although as n8 says is hard, to travel for work and have the children. I have to go abroad on business for 3 days this week. The children are on holiday (school ends on 11th) and their father is now off school for a month but he won\'t help or see them so I pay. Not just pay but arrange it and make sure there is always someone here for them. I know widowers too with young children who have to try to fix the care and work. It certainly would make it easier for your ex to find a full time job if you had the children every other week but certainly it\'s not very convnient for the full time worker as I know only too well.

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evr

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Yes, I would agree its too much. Rule of thumb is that CM plus SM should not be more than a third of your income. I suppose the problem is that as most of your support will stop once the children reach 18 and/or leave school she will be left on a low salary. Even if she increases her hours she won\'t be able to earn anything like you do. Presumably she is getting higher than 50% of assets? In general avoiding spousal maintenance means offering more capital for a clean break, but at any rate I can\'t see a court agreeing that you should hand over more than half of your salary.

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

No we are splitting assets 50:50, there is enough to keep her morthge free and in a 5 bed house plus investments and a pension when I transfer of 300k. Interesting you say not more than 50%, that what the FDR judge said as well. So it at moment 50 % on assets nut 61% on income. So you see that as a a no no if i undersand right ?

evr

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Wouldn\'t you rather offer more than 50% of assets in order to avoid spousal maintenance? Particularly for joint lives. I realise its unfair, but sometimes its well worth it in the long run in order to achieve a clean break.

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

No She could die, I wouldnt want to miss that moment of joy

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

I agree it does sound rather high. There was someone recently though whose wife (55yo?) was unable to work due to illness, they had no children and SM was set at 50% of income. As with all financial settlements the overall picture is the consideration and as part of that what happens when the children reach 18 and there is no longer entitlement to tax credits and at retirement age are factors. The problem is in cases where there are more than enough assets to meet the needs of both parties the general rule of thumb often doesn\'t apply and global maintenance (SM&CM combined) minus the CSA amount is awarded in the form of a Segal order, or a longer term Cornell order. TBH the complexities are such that if you aren\'t represented you might be well advised to seek a once off legal opinion as to where you stand and what your options are.

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Oh I am well represented AND my starting point is a moral one, # no one should live off the back of another, and if they do I claim reciprocal right . kind rgd Bear

Caractacus Potts

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Beware, morals have no meaning in the family courts.

evr

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Trouble is, if you sign up for spousal maintenance thats exactly what she will be doing, so your morals could cost you dear. Morally I absolutely agree with you - she could work, and anyway she has enough. Legally though, the split of assets will leave you both in the same position, but you with the advantage of high earnings. Anyway, why am I bothering, I\'m hung over and you have decided on your position and you are well represented, lol. Good luck

Monitor 441

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Bear. You are so right, morally that she shouldn\'t have more than 50% and she shouldn\'t live off the back of someone else. But the SM she is asking for is 32K per year. She is 49 so she may have a live expectancy of at least 30 years so you would pay her almost 1m in 30 years. You are gambling she may die before then, but ex\'s have a habit of hanging around and causing as much pain to you as possible. If you do give her more capital and she does die, won\'t she pass it on to your children? Does SM stop if she cohabits or re marries? Is there any chance of this? Mon

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

TBH thinking something should be different from what it is when it can\'t be changed isn\'t useful, especially when there are only a couple of days before the FH. Your sol presumably has all the facts so what is their opinion?

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

My ex got nearer 60% and agreement he doesn\';t support the chidlren (he earns a lot less) in exchange for giving up his SM claim for life. May be you could have the children living with you more so your ex can go back to full time work as a possible solution or between you you pay the childcare bills so she can work full time? I don\'t agree with SM at all nor in people not supporting themselves but nor in fathers like my children\'s who choose never to have the children with them which is an unfairness the system does not deal with in any way. SM is getting harder to obtain now that women aren\'t chattels. No one should let their wives be housewives or work part time because you pay the price on divorce, might have been convenient for you at the time someone did 24/7 child care of 3 screaming babies rather than you doing it but it has long term consequences for many women\'s earning power. I carried on working when the children were small full time so I pay out to the man on divorce. If I were you do what I did offer her a large lump sum even if that means you\'re criplled with debt after the divorce for a clean break so there is no maintenance from now on. Also if the children choose later to live with you there won\'t be any CM either.

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Thank you for your advice all. No I am afraid that the trap is that I work long and unpredicatable hours with lots of traveling so having the kids live with me cannot be an option. The option of offering her a lump sum is not one I can afford, the actuarial tables etc for this level of SM would mean I would need to find more money now than would be possible. I will go with the SM , hope she marries etc , but I will fight my corner and see what I can get it down to , put in a horizon at pensionable age and insist on some drop down within 5 years to account for her potential increasing her hours. I will let you know how I do. Cheers

Suvla1915

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Sometimes, ER, the man\'s greater earning capacity has been achieved by sacrifice on the part of his wife. I too have worked since my daughter was a baby but we have been moved around the country to enable him to achieve the income he now has. On the one occasion I objected ( second house move/school change within 12 months) I was accused of being selfish so gave in. Each move involved a break in my employment while I found a new job, settled daughter into new school, found new chidminders etc. A few years back he suggested that I worked part time so he could have the lifestyle his colleagues with non-working wives had (dinner on table, no help with housework etc) Thank God I decided to keep working full time. He has suggested that now I could accept a lower paid job so I can move back to live near my family. What a cheek! (well, I suppose I could, then apply for maintenance, ha ha) Of course, I intend to do the opposite, improve my qualifications further and get a higher paid job. I would hope that any financial settlement will reflect the need for a period of adjustment. I don\'t think it is right that he should live in comfort while my daughter and I struggle by (which is what we are doing at the moment) Marriage isn\'t meant to be a business contract, the choices we made regarding work, childcare, location were intended to make a good life for us all as a family, not just him. (in actually fact they were disastrous) As for the case above, it is a sad fact that it will not be easy for a woman of 49 to make a new career for herself.

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

It will she works part time, but is a fully qualified SRN and ward Manager, they are crying out for her to do more hours. I hate to be contriversal but SM means to me that the marriage is never over. I shall be applying for nominal recipricol SM so that if I lose my income in a few years I will claim off her to support me. Seems a fair deal to me.

evr

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

best of luck. You\'re going to need it!

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

That\'s why a clean break is good if it can be achieved. It\'s what the courts like to see these days too but not possible if there is a huge difference in earnings and not much capital. Suvla, yes, unfair but my ex husband left his job to move where mine was. Why didn\'t yours follow your career around? Why did you let his career come first?

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

..and it is possbile although as n8 says is hard, to travel for work and have the children. I have to go abroad on business for 3 days this week. The children are on holiday (school ends on 11th) and their father is now off school for a month but he won\'t help or see them so I pay. Not just pay but arrange it and make sure there is always someone here for them. I know widowers too with young children who have to try to fix the care and work. It certainly would make it easier for your ex to find a full time job if you had the children every other week but certainly it\'s not very convnient for the full time worker as I know only too well.

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

ER, I think that\'s a better position than I was once left in when my ex failed to collect the children when I had a meeting in Jersey with a director from one of the 4 big banks and I ended up taking the children with me!

Monitor 441

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Bear. You haven\'t stated the ages of your children. Maybe the reason that your ex2b doesn\'t want to work full time is that she feels that she needs to be there for the children when they come home from school. Have you seriously thought about shared care. It is now a year since I split with my wife and I have my kids 50:50 shared care week on week off. Before the split, I worked long and unpredictable hours and travelled regularly. I didn\'t want to be a weekend Dad, so I changed my working patterns and now I only travel and work late the week I don\'t have the kids. My kids are 11 and 9 and I have after school care for the younger between 8.00am and 6.00pm to allow for flexibility of my work hours although she only goes in to 6 of the 10 sessions on average. My parents live 100 miles away and occasionally help out with an overnight stay if I have to be away during the week the kids are with me. This has happened 3 times in 12 months. To give you an idea of the financial difference - I earn 6.5K net per month and give my ex to be 600 a month CM. OK its only for 2 children, but if I had 3 it would be 720. Its a lot less than what you are currently paying. If your net is 8.6K and you had the kids on 50:50 you would pay her just under 1K per month on CSA rates By having shared care would also free up you ex2b to work longer hours so there is less dependancy on your SM Good luck with the FH Mon

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Yes thank you Monitor, food for thought, do a swop week , one week work away and then one week work but with kids ? ok, I will need to work on accomadation as I only have a two bed flat and with boy kids 11 12 and a girl of 14 that will not work. They will need at least two proper bedrooms and with a girl an en suite !!!!!! I know my girl would love to live with me. Okay I will raise this tomorrow and ensure I retain enough flexibility to achieve this. Cheers

Monitor 441

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Bear. It is tough trying to juggle the child care with a demanding employer but the rewards of being the total parent for my kids is fantastic. I do everything for them -washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, shopping, trips out, friends for sleep overs, holidays, the lot. I wouldn\'t change it for the world. I rent a 3 bed house half a mile from the FMH and the kids go to the same schools -they can both walk from both houses - and do the same activities each week. I describe it as the children having one life and two homes. The 2 houses are totally independent apart from Mobile phones and Ipods which travel between the 2 houses. It was expensive to set up the house originally, but now after 12 months iIhave everything they need at my house as they have at the FMH Give it serious thoughts Good luck Mon

Suvla1915

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

In response to ER above - because I was a damn fool. With hindsight I should have dug my heels in last time and said no, I was not moving, taken the job I had been offered. No doubt he would have gone in a big mood and resented me for years. But he did that anyway, for having the audacity to not be happy here. (I did try)

DearDiary

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Ok , My twopenneth??? I had my second FDR last Thurs, For all of you who know this is classed as a Big Money case??? I don\'t know, seems that N8bear is as well ??? Anyway, without going into details, at FDR the judge was \'not very happy\' to say the least that my ex2b was even thinking that I, as a mum of a 3 and 8 year old, the youngest who was autistic, could even contemplate having a full time or even a part time job ??? He said that based on my hubbys earnings even if my son was \'normal\' ( and that hurt a bloody lot ) based on his earnings he would not expect me to work until the child was 11 years old at least ? He also expressed a major problem with the fact that my hubby retained the FMH worth 1.6 million, and that the hubby put forwa suggested houses for me worth between 425 and 460 grand ( two of which were ex local authority ) What I am saying is what happened to me, and for what I can glean N8Bear is an even higher achiever than my ex hubby??? I am not judging I am mearly giving the fact as to what is happening on my case??? I have failed to reach agreement at FDR and the sad thing is that a final hearing will cost the best part of 50K so why not try and settle sooner ??? God I just would like me and himm to come to an agreement asap??? Love to everyone xxx

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Yes but that\'s just judges who live in the dark ages. Most parents with children work and many work full time even with under 5s in the UK now. The courst are about 30 years out of date. I know people with autistic children who are surgeons or lawyers and they have a nanny who will help care for the child. The parents of course also both put a huge amount of effort in too and it\'s not easy whether you work or not but it\'s possible. I do think the person who earns the money should keep it once the basic needs of the lower earner are met. Obviously if one is on 20k a year and the other house wife then yes that\'s probabl ya fair divide 50% because the housewife skills are worth about 20k or at very jmost 40k. But if he (or she) is on 500k a year why shoudl the housewife/.husband side of it get that super bonus they never earned and didnt\' have the talents to earn.

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

Actually ER I think it\'s you who live in the dark ages. Every other modern country I can think of recognises marriage as a relationship of mutual dependancy and on divorce the starting point for dividing assets is 50:50. White v White just brought E&W into the 21st century.

Never Again

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

In some countries such as HK (which normally adopts the laws of England and Wales including matrimonial law) there has been a steadfast refusal to adopt White. 50% is the maximum amount any party to divorce will receive. When I divorced my husband (we lived in HK) I filed in E & W just to avoid that scenario as I knew I would receive more.

Owl1

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

ER, STIDW is right as usual England & Wales lags behind the world and is typically non progressive. Things will move forward and your views are very out of date. I am always bemused at how those surgeons and lawyers devalue time spent with children and the value of it. Instead they pay a young woman(and yes most nanny\'s are still women) pittance to perform a task they see as less worthy than their high paid, high status careers. Talk about living off someone elses backs and efforts.

julie21

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

wishing you ex dead is a tad too strong. Just remember what goes around comes around. wish my ex would give me CM in the region of what yours is getting. Incidently I have never asked for SM.

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

I don\'t agree. I think we\'re one of the only countries on the planet where lower earners can get 50% or more plus SM for life. Even California I think just has a 50/50 split but no SM. We are the divorce capital of the world and lower leech like earners flock here where there is a jurisdictional choice. Try divrocing in France or Russia as a lower earner. At this rate people like will just choose not to marry.It will be too much of a risk.

julie21

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

monitor you sound like an excellent father. My childrens father has them for approx 6 nights a month. he offered to have them for christmas this year. bearing in mind he has two weeks off over christmas. He is having them for two nights no more. he lives 20 miles away and could see them whenever he wishes. It breaks my heart to see how not interested he really is to his own kids. There step dad is more of a father to them that he has ever been. it is very very sad. rest assured your kids will know you love them and will grow up as you said happy and well adjusted with two homes. :D

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

It\'s annoying. My ex has them (or rather his parents do) for 5 or 6 nights a year - and that\'s just 2 of the children. It\'s as if under English law we regard being a partner as a hobby and you\'re perfectly entitled to pick it up and put it down and resume it in 6 months time when the fancy takes you like a piece of tapestry you\'re sewing.

road2freedom

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

I think it would be sad, though, if all women felt they had to pursue high-earning careers (and spend less time with their babies/small children) because they would end up being penalised in a divorce.

skovby1

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

R2F - I don\'t think that is the case - I think a lot of people put parenthood \"on hold\" in order to get their careers in place ... and then find that 60 hour working weeks don\'t go hand in hand with family life. Others feel that because they have worked their butts off, say in their 20\'s - it is an absolute blessing to be able to take some time out to enjoy the family they have been saving up for (my ex and I fall into that bracket). Personally I treasure the fact that even now post-divorce I\'m able to do most school runs and attend events at son\'s school - we\'ll never get these years back !!! Whereas work ..... it\'ll still be there in 5 years time.

Monitor 441

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

When we are all on our death bed none of us is going to say \"I wish I\'d spent more time at the office\" but there are lots of parents out there who are going to say \"I wished I\'d seen more of my kids as they grew up\". I am determined that I spend as much time with my kids as possible. There is plenty of \"me time\" the week my kids are with their mother so when they are with me, I am with them as much as possible. And there will be plenty of time for me when they have left home. Its a shame that some of the parents out there don\'t think like this Mon

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

Agreed Monitor, but are you not able to work from home to facilitate this? I think there is a lot of scope to change the working practices for men so that there is a much better work/family balance for everyone during marriage and after.

Monitor 441

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Stids, I am based from home so the week I have the kids I normally work at least two days from home. This week is a tough one with meetings I can\'t change tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday each one over 100 miles away so its drop off youngest at before school club at 8.00, zoom down the motorway, 4 hour meeting and zoom back to pick her up at 5.30 on each day. The week I don\'t have the kids I would stay away. It is well worth the hassle just to be with them even at times like now - I have just washed youngest\'s hair and found she has got nits - the joy of parenting! Mon

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

I can empathise, I travel on average twice a week to continental Europe and when the children where younger they would get pushed out the door at 7.30am, I\'d whizz off to the airport get to where I was going for about 4 hours and then whizz back. The one thing about flying is you can work as you\'re waiting/travelling. My biggest fear was getting grounded by fog or something but fortunately it never happened.

weeble

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Can you let us know how the final hearing goes please n8bear?

weeble

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Can you let us know how the final hearing goes please n8bear?

maia

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Some on here are idealists where the issue of SM is concerned and in case you hadn\'t noticed, we don\'t live in an ideal world. To state that SM should never be awarded is ridiculous as nothing is that black and white. There are many grey areas that need to be addressed, and thank God we have courts to make sure justice is done in these cases. In my particular case I worked damned hard all my married life (20 years) to raise 3 children while fostering others and working as a full time childminder to another 3 under 2 years olds. I worked from home so that I could also be there for my children. My husband had no worries about childcare, no household chores, no school runs, all his laundry done and a hot meal on the table when he came home from work. My earnings also contributed significantly to the household income. However, as the children got older and his career took off, I had to stop working as a childminder because he was working abroad and I needed to be free of babies and toddlers so that I could do the housework, shopping, gardening, decorating, dog walking and playing taxi driver to 3 teenagers. It was also during this period that my marriage broke down (he found someone else). I returned to college to study for qualifications to enable me to return to work once the youngest (12) was old enough to be left on his own during the day. But as they say \"The best laid plans etc etc\" I couldn\'t have foreseen what was to happen next. I developed rheumatoid arthritis and became crippled overnight, unable to work, unable to even walk round a supermarket using the trolley as a makeshift zimmer frame! I am now 48, disabled with very poor earning potential. So, all you who believe ex wives should never receive SM, that it is morally wrong for one person to \"live off the back\" of another, I ask you this. Is it morally right for a man to be supported for 20 years by a loving wife while he develops his career uninterrupted, who has 3 children by her, is a very high earner, then leaves his wife, turns his back on his children and leaves the disabled wife to fend for herself totally unsupported while he lives a life of luxury? No it in\'t morally right, and the courts of this country recognise that! N8bear. To gloat on your wife\'s death is despicable. Come down from your moral high ground, you have no place there!

l0zza

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

MY husband earn\'t alot too (plus annual bonuses), ex-wife was getting 2.5k leading up to court (1k per child and 500 for her), she was slightly younger then your wife, but didnt want to work. She wanted 2k for children and 2k for her/month forever also, plus marital house (mortgage free), plus a new car (nothing wrong with current one) Husband went to court - wife lost. Judge accused her of being greedy. She got 2k for children until they turn 16 or leave home (very important to get this to end of secondary school not education - as could stay in education until 25!) This is not husband being horrible to children, he would always pay university fees - it just means he doesn\'t have to pay through ex-wife. She got 500/month for 5 years (during which time she is expected to get some qualifications to enable her to get a job), She got 100k Payable over 5 years, which she HAS to use to pay off the mortgage on house, she got house, but she didn\'t get new car or husbands pension. And it\'s a clean break so she can\'t come back for more! Husband was very clever - had lots of his own savings (which he accumulated during the 5 year separation) - she was after this too. So 1 year before court husband leveraged up - mortgaged to hilt (new home for him and for children when come to visit - all done without ex-wife knowledge), further annual bonuses were paid directly into his pension and took kids on expensive holidays. Basically you need to show that you spend all of your monthly salary. But it needs to be on legit things, so if you need a new car, because your current one is unreliable to buy one, take the kids on holiday etc etc

n8bear

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Ok FH complete, result 50:50 split of assest etc inc 40% sharing order on pension properties divided up etc as per of assets inc wife takes remaining mortgage Segal Order of 2200 per month CM and 2450 SM Total 4650. CM until kids 21 and SM until my retirement date either 65 or if earlier I have to supply 8 weeks notice. Hope this helps someone else Cheers

Nancy

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Did you get the nominal reciprocal maintenance?

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:55:03

Thank you, feedback is a big help. I hope it\'s not too long before youngest reaches 21! At least now it\'s over you can move forward with some certainty. Best wishes.

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

So you didn\'t get a clean break and she got a load of SM. Make sure your next wife earns more than you do. The mistake I made, marrying for love not money unlike most women who typically earn a lot less than their man.

evr

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

oi ER, not all women that marry men who earn more than them are golddiggers you know! Bit of a sweeping statement isnt it? Well bear, people did try to tell you how it would go if you dug your heels in. Interesting that you feel you cannot look after your children because you work long hours, but you think your wife should increase her hours and look after them. Also interesting that you don\'t feel she should live \'off your back\' but have no qualms about her claiming off the state. Lozza, how wonderful that you can benefit from your husband\'s largesse instead of his family. Lets hope you stay on his good side!

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Yes, but their intention might not be to be a gold digger but it\'s a huge coincidence they usually prefer a man who earns a bit more than they do, don\'t they? It may not be conscious but it\'s there. Anyway I\'ve give him advice above about how to have the children 52 weeks a year and still work full time. It\'s not easy but if it were 50% of the time where both parents would it would be a lot fairer.

maia

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

ER you are talking tosh! When I married my ex we were 19 years old and I supported him at the beginning while he was an art student. Our first house was purchased through my earnings, he only had a grant. But we started a family very early on and he changed career path out of necessity. We struggled for the first few years while he was on a very low salary, but eventually he got a lucky break at work and finally his career started to take off. We had been married 15 years by this time! I didn\'t marry him for his money or his earning capacity as I was expecting him to be a starving artist!

EnglishRose

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:15

Depends when you marry. I was just reading about the new football manager? He met his wife on a bus when he was 18 and says his greatest achievement is an in tact family which I thought was lovely.

Suvla1915

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 12:54:16

Ha, I would have said the same thing this time last year!
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