What would married people get? Separation finances etc.

(19 Posts)
FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 00:03:34

Hi, I am really just looking for any thoughts/ ideas on where to start regarding my separation from partner.
We have been together for 12 years. We have an 8 yr old child. We have been engaged for last 9 yrs and were fully committed to each other and marriage one day. We never got around to marrying because there has always been one thing or another to deal with and it hasn't been top of our list of priorities. Ironically we have always, mutually felt that there has been no rush because we have all the time in the world etc etc.
Sadly while time has been flying by, we have drifted into a completely platonic relationship and now live like good friends/brother and sister. We have had many a painful chat about things after I pushed to bring it to a head, and have decided to separate.
The problem is, it is only now that I can see exactly where this leaves me financially.
Please remember - we were going to marry! Things are very amicable, we still share our home, haven't made things public yet. We sleep in separate rooms but otherwise life goes on as normal while we try to work out what's next.
We have talked of separation agreements. We have also come up with a suggested plan of what to do financially. However, this means dragging things out for the next two yrs and as time goes on, I really don't think I can do this. The plan was for him to move out in near future. Without listing my entire life on the first post, basically I would like to make a clean break asap. I would desperately love another child (and not getting any younger), would also love to move closer to my family amongst other things, so for my own sanity and the health of our remaining relationship, I really need to do something.
So, I have just started thinking about what I would be entitled to if we were married. In terms of settlement figure? How is this figure usually calculated? I would ideally like to ask for a lump with which to leave and maybe use as deposit for my own home. Not interested in rinsing him dry - just want a fair share for my role in our set up. As would have been case if married.I am not on the house deeds. I am currently sahm. I haven't contributed financially to anything we own (this was always 100% what he/we were happy with) Very traditional set up. He works 9-5, I do everything else. I am currently studying and the intention was for me to set up self employed when qualified. Should mention he is self employed. He has sworn to do things as though we had been married, as he appreciates the unfairness of the situation. If it's relevant - there are no other parties involved and we are very good friends. He's very casual and relaxed about it all, but then he's not in my position either!
Thanks in advance for any help and sorry if I haven't made any sense. P.s - I know that I am not legally entitled to anything, hence the post.

millymolls Wed 26-Feb-14 12:54:47

i don't think anyone would be able to tell you what you would have got if you were married however as a guide only, then:

Possibly 50% of equity in the house, possibly more depending on circumstances, (how old children are, whether you work or not (I know you are SAHM) depending on what other assets are). Depending on whether this provides you enough of lump sum to provide housing, if not your DH would most likely be expected to stay on the mortgage and defer his share of equity until children are older or some other trigger.

A share in pension accrued over the 12 years of 'marriage'

15% of net salary as child maintenance for 1 child, 20% for 2.

Possibly interim financial spousal maintenance while you get on your feet, find work etc with the view that you ultimately are in a position to provide for yourself.

All of these are possibles - depends entirely on your own set of circumstances and your partners earnings.

Clearly you are aware that if he does not agree to these then you are not necessarily entitled to anything.....other than the child maintenance and to claim on the house you would need to look to other avenues to try to secure some of this.

You mention another child so I presume you have one. How does your partner feel about a move away ? HOw will you facilitate a relationship with their Dad?(I assume he is he father?)

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 13:49:32

Thanks for reply.

The move would be going back to area we used to live in. He has family there too. No decisions would be made without both parties being comfortable. We have one child (8). No other children from previous.
We are commited to making this as friendly as possible, because we do still have a lot of love and respect for each other. Our dd is our world, and more than anything we want to make this as easy on her as poss. My parents had/still having a horrendous divorce 20+ yrs on. I would never want to subject her to any of the crap we are/were. Probably one of reasons we've taken so long to get here. We got very comfortable just plodding along but life is short and I need more. My parents are all the proof I need not to let it get to a point of resentment and hatred.
I don't think moving would be a problem. He knows it is something I've talked of (for us as a family) in past, and he would very much remain a part of my family's lives. There really is no negativity.
We have considered shared custody so ideally would live close to each other. I'm not certain whether he would want to sell or not. I could compromise on distance by half, so I was half an hour away from him and same with my family.
In terms of assets, other than the equity in property, there is a large lump sum expected in two years time. This is why we were going to wait originally. All debts were to be cleared first including mortgage. After that there were various ways money would be distributed. But no actual figure given, as the lump sum isn't a set figure yet.
I'm sorry, I feel as though I'm rambling and I'm probably not making any sense!
This is all still a bit of a shock. That it's really happening. We have lived a lie for the past few yrs. Him pretending everything fine, by his own admission would've kept going to. But I have been unhappy for yrs. There is no romantic/physical love between us. I would've loved another child. I tried so many times to sort things out but he's not much of a talker/thinker. I urged for therapy but he says he doesn't believe in it. I feel as though my time has been wasted and whilst at the minute I can live with that, if we kept on going I think I would come to hate him.
His parents have sort of relationship I've just described. Maybe that's it? I don't know. But I know he said he doesn't love me in that way anymore.
I just want to be able to start my own life again. I would work full school hours doing anything until qualified, to pay for mortgage.
Other than child maintenance I don't want anything from him for me, such as income or pension. But as I have been living under an illusion for the past X yrs and as result have no assets/protection of my own, I want a chunk of something for all I have contributed over the years. We have lived a very modest life. I haven't asked for much. I have 'done up' our entire home including lots of diy work myself, all child care, cooking, cleaning. It was my job in our partnership.
I'm just trying to find a place to start in terms of what would be reasonable amount to expect to ask. I just need to be able to stand my ground and ask for what I fairly (not legally) deserve.
I'm so sorry if this makes no sense. I don't know where to start.

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 13:56:18

Just read back.
Lump sum is his.
I would like to get own mortgage once employed. A lump sum from him would give me a deposit and I would forfeit anything else.
He is self employed.
Our current home could be sold. It's his decision.

EdithWeston Wed 26-Feb-14 13:58:53

As you are not married, the various 'rules of thumb' which apply in divorce are simply irrelevant.

Yes, he'll have to pay child maintenance.

But in terms of the house, you have to begin with property law, which says the asset is entirely his. You need proper legal advice to see if you can claim a share (or remain in it with DD until she reaches majority). Things that will be relevant are when the house was bought, whether you have put money into improvements etc.

I'm afraid that providing domestic support to a person who, in the eyes of the law is your flatmate, is insufficient in itself to establish an interest in the property. But if you can demonstrate a mutual intention that the house should indeed be a joint asset, then you will have a starting point.

millymolls Wed 26-Feb-14 16:39:48

I replied on the basis that OP knows she is not legally entitled to things as they are not married but just trying to get a sense how to put forward a proposal to he partner. Sounds like they can be amicable and come to an agreement hence if she has an idea of how to much to ask for they can take it from there.

As far as I am aware if your partner agrees to his (or you can come to consensus) you wont need to go the legal route and start drawing on property law etc in trying to make a claim as he would just give you the cash value you want. (or rather the one you both agree to)This will of course be dependent on I) being able to raise the funds to give you the cash and 2) being able to reach consensus between you without the need to start instructing solicitors to make a claim.

I hope you can reach agreement OP and that in the cold hard light of day he still agrees to this otherwise you could be in for a long battle.

Izzyalex Wed 26-Feb-14 17:55:42

As far as I am aware you DO have rights to the property even if your name is not on the mortgage as long as you can prove you have been living there for over a year which I'm sure you can.

I heard a terrible story from a friend at work who was in a relationship with a guy, he moved in to her house (no kids involved) and they lived together for over a year. Things went bad and she came home from work one day to find he had changed the locks and wouldn't let her back in and was asking for half the value of the house as payment to move out. She got advice from CAB and was told he had the right to half as he had lived with her for over a year.

CAB is free - find your local one and ask their advice.

Plus if everything is as amicable as you say, surely he won't want to see you destitute and will offer you a fair amount? Depends on if he is planning to stay in the house - if so a lump sum might be trickier for him than a monthly payment?

Good luck x

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 20:25:02

Thanks everyone for replies.

Yes millymolls, you're right. I am aware of the law, regarding my unmarried rights. That is not what I am here asking about.

Property law etc is irrelevant too at the moment because the only way we intend involving the law/courts would be to make any agreements official.

I will seek legal advice when the time comes.

What I am probably making a really bad job of explaining is that before we have our next discussion (I have asked to fo this tmw), I would've like some kind of suggestion to put to him. But at the moment, I simply have no idea what would be a reasonable suggestion.

I can't say this enough.. things are completely amicable. He has already said that we will sort things financially as close to as if we had been married. Because that was always the plan. I don't know whether it is guilt on his part of if he really is just one of life's nice guys. Prob both. But knowing him as I do, he will not shirk his responsibilities to dd or leave me in the lurch.

But he is a ditherer. He feels absolutely no urgency. But he is secure with his life so why should he. What I don't want is for it to get to a point when we might fall out, or he meets somebody else, and things may change. And why should I be punished for believing that my relationship was real? What sort of partner would I have been, or thought he was, to have lived a life of suspicion. If I'd been his wife I would've been entitled, for doing the same things I've done as a fiancé.

We have insurance/assurances in place to cover property and income etc. for the other in the event of death. I am the named beneficiary on assets. He doesn't want to change this anytime soon. As I said before, we are both commited to dd, and have been through too much together to let things turn ugly. Besides the split is mutual.

I just want to have a reasonable, fair suggestion of what to ask for, based on marriage guidelines. I don't want to rob him, but equally I don't want to deny myself either. Why should I?

Is there a calculator? Or a percentage of assets to work from?

Pretend we are married but not going through the courts if that helps. And just assume that he will be ok with this. It will at least be somewhere to start working from/to.

Again thanks. I really do appreciate it. Can't talk to anyone else yet about the split and my brain feels like cotton wool!

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 20:38:00

Izzy - thanks! Until we chew over the options I have no idea whether we would sell the house. But I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

A lump sum would be ideal it is just a case of figuring out how much.

I think if the situation was mutually agreeable he might figure a way to work release some money. Or we would draw up an agreement to have it in installments and I would have to rent until could buy.

He is rubbish at addressing these things himself and is a head buried in sand sort, so unless I push to get things moving, I could still be here in 5 yrs time waiting for the conversation to happen!

Tbh I really don't know what goes on in that head of his. He has always been hard work to figure out. But I really don't think it's for any dodgy reasons. Although..?? I do sometimes wonder if I'm living with a secret agent lol! But really, I think he's just a bit different. Part of what attracted me was his mild mannered, mister reasonable routine. Now 12 yrs on it drives me crazy grin

millymolls Wed 26-Feb-14 21:38:51

What not just ask for 50% of assets and 15% ongoing as child maintenance? Many divorces start at this and adjust up or down. It would give you a figure in mind and gauge his reaction.
I would just say that while it is completely admirable to be amicable where money is concerned things have a habit if turning sour so it's wise to bear this in mind. Clearly I think you will all have the best outcome if you are able to remain so.
It is also important that you outline contact plans if you do intend to move away.

millymolls Wed 26-Feb-14 21:43:28

Do you know what equity and other assets there are. This would help you work out what 50% is and whether that would be the 'right' sort of level. Izzyalex, sorry but that is just not right so there must have been other factors involved in that particular case.

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 21:54:54

Ok thanks millymolls that is exactly what I was looking for. I won't actually want that much, believe it or not I have always (prior to us) been a very independent, self sufficient person. I just want to get a bit of help starting out.

I just don't see why I should walk away with nothing. It would be very unfair, and highlights just how ridiculous the current set of laws are. He could marry somebody next yr and they would I immediately be legally entitled to more than I was? Anyway, I realise that I am very lucky he isn't a total bastard.

Childcare arrangements will never be an issue, but we will make everything official once we know what we're doing. Neither of us is interested in denying ourselves or dd of as healthy a future relationship as possible. This is why I want to be able to say - I only asked for what was fair. Then I know if any future partner (of his) gets funny I can stand my ground.

Thanks again for your help. I had no idea where to start. Most info on web covers married only, or simply highlights lack of rights. We have a fairly unique situation I imagine. What with it being sickeningly friendly!

FloralRose Wed 26-Feb-14 22:17:29

The trouble, I fear, would come in the future with his next partner/children. He is currently self employed and about to set up as ltd company to receive dividends rather than salary. This is to protect his lump sum as and when.

I gather this makes things much harder from a maintenance point of view.

This is another reason why I am so keen to settle things asap. He may be reasonable, but if his future wife(?) wasn't, at least I would be in a much stronger position having received something up front.

I can honestly never see him avoiding maintenance entirely, but I can't guarantee he would always provide as much as he could afford, if another woman/family was in his life.

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 26-Feb-14 22:35:16

You need to break it down into three parts.

1). What do you need to get on your feet? I.e. A deposit and rent on a new place, money for bills and food until you're through your training and able to get a job. This is the money in your hand. The only bit you can truly rely on because none of us know whats round the corner. So many what ifs. This is the money that buys you and your DD settling time and the opportunity to be in paid work to support yourself.

2). What is fair ongoing maintenance for your DD typically 15% minimum but what about school uniform, a contribution to extra curricular stuff etc if things are on a friendly footing.

It is always a bit of a worry that they'll meet someone else and manipulate maintenance. My XH apparently hasn't had an inflationary rise in 7 years and is still only part time. I know he's full time, i know he has other income streams, I know he received a very substantial inheritance. But its easier to let it go than create a big stink because we have food on the table and the DC have a positive if somewhat limited relationship with him.

3) Thirdly asset sharing and pension pot. If he doesn't want to move out the house and you do, can he access a large chunk of capital to release to you? Pension is easy to dismiss as something a long way off but its years you wont get back so do you want to try to negotiate a slightly larger capital chunk to offset this?

FloralRose Thu 27-Feb-14 00:04:56

MisFor
1) this is something I really can't figure out until I know what/where we (dd&I) are going. In the interests of fairness I won't be just telling him, I want to discuss and come up with the best compromise. I really just want to be closer to my family, for support and have never really bonded with where we live now. It was partly due to his work commitments that we moved here. But that job ended with redundancy. Now, he covers an area that would stretch to my desired location so it shouldn't be too much of an ask. We will see.

2) yes, this is all stuff I'm worried about. At the moment all is good and I feel that I can trust/rely on him. But at same time I have to watch my own back now, so bits of paranoia slip in. I want to make everything legal. But how I go about securing a set maintenance figure for next X yrs, I have no idea. Isn't it fairly common that after splitting from longterm relationships, many go on to marry the next person and quickly? This is what I'm afraid of. I trust him, yet I don't!

3)ref house- yes that's what I was wondering. We had talked about keeping it on and sharing some investments for the future (my name put on deeds of house etc) and turn things into a bit of a business relationship by leasing out for regular income. This was based on either clearing the mortgage with the lump sum, or by changing current mortgage to buy to let freeing up the lump sum now. All of which could eventually go to dd, if life didn't get in way first.
But either of those would probably make a lump sum less likely now, which is what I would prefer.

We need to have a good chat and will hopefully start tmw. The only problem I'll have is trying to get him to fully appreciate the situ from my side in terms of urgency. If I push too much, too soon, he may dig his heels in. That and that he sometimes needs to be hit in the face by something before he sees it! Water from a stone! Honestly - this is why it has taken so bloody long to get here.

Top of the list though, always, will be civility, hopefully friendship and respect, for our dd's sake. Not to mention I still love him, and he me (grab the bucket). I've been a victim of much damage from my parents divorce. I would rather walk away with nothing to keep the peace, than destroy her childhood happiness. Hopefully though, we may just manage the pipe dream of separation!

Thanks for your advice thanks

FloralRose Thu 27-Feb-14 00:09:46

Sorry MisFor, I've confused the 3).

I hadn't given much thought to pension and dismissed it as his. I don't really know enough about these things. But I think the lump sum would prob be the way I want to go, as beyond that it all starts to feel too much of an ask. Despite what I've said about rights! I will definitely look further into it though.

millymolls Thu 27-Feb-14 08:37:14

again, start at 50% and then possibly adjust up a higher % of equity to offset pension claim.

However, you do need to remember that you are coming from a weakened position in that legally you are not 'entitled' to anything probably (unless you can argue a claim of house via property laws and or Childrens Act) but this is not a given. To a large extent you are completely reliant on his goodwill and sense of fairness.

Hopefully you can reach an agreement but whatever you decide you both need to seek legal advice with regard to drawing up this into a legal agreement e.g. if he agrees to give you £50k (I have no idea what the figure is)!) then draw up a legal agreement to say this is a one off, stops future claims, is not a loan etc so that BOTH of you are covered going forward.

If you are talking about remaining jointly on the house as an investment you need to draw up a declaration of trust I would guess outlining how the property is to be held (as tenants in common with % outlined I guess) or some other legal document which outlines who gets what and the timing of that.

You simply cannot rely on good nature going forward.

FloralRose Thu 27-Feb-14 09:04:06

Thankyou millymolls. We are going to talk after the school run. I realise I need to be very careful about I handle these talks. It's a bit of a guessing game. I know the sooner I sort this out, the more chance I have of using the guilt/goodwill to my advantage.

These posts have highlighted to me the need to sort things legally asap as well as indicating what would be reasonable on normal married guidelines. If he is true to his word about honouring that, my only next issue will be time.

I hope he can see how unhappy I am. I'm not sure if he ever wants more children or to get married. I know he loves the convenience of our lifestyle and between that and business he is very happy with his life. I on the other hand feel like I'm dying inside. Fingers crossed I get somewhere this morning. At very least I will push for a meeting with a mediator to help us.

Last time we talked, he said he'd been looking into putting my name on the property. His area is finance, so these things are within his reach without seeking outside help. Am I right in thinking I need to make sure it is the deeds rather than just the mortgage? He hasn't mentioned either, I just want to know what it should be.

I have some mental health issues which mean sometimes I have trouble processing information or remembering things very well at the necessary moment! Today I will take notes of everything.

He's either very clever and manipulative, or really is what he claims to be. Story of our lives that one. Guess now I'll find out for certain!

FloralRose Thu 27-Feb-14 14:12:04

Just as a follow up..

We have talked for past few hours and hammered out a lot of details.
He stands by the married rights even though we're not married.
I have emphasised the need to make all of this legal asap.
I have discussed urgency to physically separate, in interests of my mental health and it's potential impact on dd. I have talked about my concerns and fears with regards to us living a lie - she asks a lot of questions about us getting married and also about wanting a sibling and it breaks my heart. I can't lie to her, yet I can't agree that these things will happen with her Df. I have got away with it so far without doing either, but we're def on borrowed time as she gets older and more observant.
I think this really woke him up! He is not a deep thinker, not very emotional. But he loves his dd with a passion, and hadn't appreciated all of the things I can't stop thinking about, but that he never does!

So in summary - we have discussed location and agreed to sell this house and both move to new same area that we are equally happy with. We have already picked somewhere to look into.

I am going to discuss with financial advisor all things regarding pensions, just to get some better understanding of the way it all works now. Then we will decide exactly how to stake my claim. Possibly will be with an up front lump sum.
Either way I will get something.

His equity share he is willing to split 50/50. I've put forward that depending on the sum involved I will not necessarily want that. 50% of a little - yes. 50% of a lot - no. We are trying to figure out how to calculate this as a percentage, because the final figure is still unknown. We have spoken of a percentage, with a view to capping it at a maximum I am happy with, up to 50% of the final figure.

ie 50% of 100k would be fine. But 50% of 500k is just more than I want/ need. In this instance we would cap it at X amount. Is going to need a legal appointment to figure it out to suit us both! We did have a giggle with conspiracy theories though.

Maintenance will likely be higher than the minimum at first glance. But until we hash out the rest, this figure still unknown.

We are willing to split custody as best as can. Though both expect dd to want to remain with me most of time. School pick up and alternative weekends are the idea going forward, freeing me those extra afternoon hours to work, and allowing daily contact for them.

We will both move to new area at same time. I will rent until can buy. He will buy or rent depending on finances. I will pay my own bills from job income, and receive maintenance from him. When the equity lump becomes available I will look to buy. For now though I wouldn't be able to raise an adequate enough mortgage even with maintenance inc.

We will split equity from sale of this house.

We had to end conversation there for today. We will be discussing further over weekend to make a written plan to take to solicitor.

I have no idea what your area of expertise is millymolls, but do you have any opinions on whether it is better to get separate solicitors from the start, or whether those 'one stop shop' divorce mediating services, are worth a look?

Have I missed anything?

The info given to me here has really helped. It helped me to structure my argument this morning, and by bandying around a few stats I was able to guide the conversation.
I feel as happy/comfortable as I could at this point. Legalising it all is next. The relief I am feeling to have actually made some progress is great.

I think just being able to type all of it down and see it in blk and white, with some outside input has helped enormously! I couldn't see woods for the trees a few days ago.

So thank you for listening and giving your advice. thanks

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