Separation Advice

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Hi all

My marriage isn’t going great and despite exhausting all the options to save it appears we have reached the end.

We have had discussions and agree in principle to separate amicably with both children going to live with their mother.
I have a very close relationship with my children and I want to continue have a fair share of my parental responsibilities i.e. having them over agreed days, maintainance payments etc.

We bought a house 2 ½ years ago with the Help-To-Buy (HTB) scheme and apart from this financial commitment we have no other assets.
The HTB scheme stipulates at least one of the owners has to live in the property for 5 years after which period we can sell without needing to pay anything back to Revenue. If the house is sold or rented within the 5 year period there is a "clawback" amount we have to pay back to Revenue.
Aside from the house we have agreed to clear the remaining debt of less than 5000 Euro soon as possible.
We have 2 children aged 8 & 13 and both work full time.
My mother lives with us and supports with every day chores, taking the children to school which also allows both of us to work full-time.

I understand that we have to complete an Affidavit of Means but beyond this point I don’t know which approach to consider for separation.

Looking at my situation (I think) the main sticking point is what to do with the house and what would be the best approach that it is fair to both parties? I have no problem with legally paying support to my children


Thanks for your time
 
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Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,857
I'm sorry for this trouble in your life; separation / divorce is very tough on everyone.

The Help to Buy conditions aren't really relevant just yet.

Settlements will vary as every family's situation is different. So the following is very much a general guidance. First and foremost in any settlement will be the welfare of the children.

Your children are still at primary/secondary school, so I would expect they will continue to live in the family home until the youngest child is 18 / 23 if in full time education. Often the settlement terms will include the requirement that the house is sold at that point & the proceeds divided.

Your wife will continue as their primary carer & so will also remain in the family home.

Where your mother will live is something you'll have to work out between you.

You will need to pay child maintenance, which is based on both parents income & outgoings.

Given that your youngest child is 8 years old & therefore you could be looking at 15 years before the property might be sold; it would be worth considering if your wife could afford to buy out your share in 3 years time.

Two bits of advice at this point; lockdown has been incredibly tough on everyone. On the assumption that there is nothing untoward going on (violence / addiction etc) I would consider looking at marriage counselling if you can.

If you do decide to separate, then hasten slowly. Get the maintenance & access in place, focus on making your children feel secure. Leave the hare sit for a year.
 

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Hi Thirsty

Thank you for taking the time to advice. It is very helpful to me. I totally get your last point but it is getting to a point where perhaps separation is the only workable solution. All that said never say never.
There has never been any kinda of animosity or violence in the marriage and essentially is boiling down to the fact that we have grown into 2 different people.

As a general guide about the house does it mean that I have to pay a certain amount towards the mortgage until such time the terms of the house come to an end? I know this would be separate to child support.
As for my wife buying out my share in 3 years I am not sure that will be possible and if I was a betting man unlikely to be the case from a financial point of view.

Would there be an option of selling the house now if my wife is amenable to the idea, or is this not the case when underage children are involved? Please understand I am in no way looking for an easy way out here, just want to understand what are all the options if any?

Either way I plan to move out and my mother would be living with me. She is dependent on my support financially and healthcare etc.

Indeed my first priority is to ensure child support and access to them is sorted out before taking any further steps

once again thank you for your help
 

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Hi Thirsty

It would be against my better judgement to leave my children in more turmoil if the family home was to be sold and not something I would consider as my choice at all.

On the mortgage front is it usually the case that the payment is split in half or does this depend on what legally binding agreement we reach? We don’t have any other assets

Many Thanks
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,857
So if you want 50% of the equity if / when the family home is sold, then you'll need to pay 50% of the mortgage.

There's nothing to stop you reaching other arrangements; but so long as your name is on the mortgage, you'll likely not be able to get another mortgage to buy somewhere to live yourself.

Just to point out, I am not a lawyer, at some point you will have to get the legal stuff done & you should take advice at that time.
 

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Many Thanks Thirsty

You’ve been very helpful in giving general guidance to have some idea of what to expect. Of course formal legal representation will be the only way forward for everyone’s benefit if or when it gets to that point

Regards
 

phoenix53

Registered User
Messages
36
Hi Anotherguy. I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. Its a very difficult time for everyone. I've experience seeing this happen within our extended family.

I agree with Thirsty, the children's welfare is of the utmost importance. However, I would also say that so is yours and your partners. For children to see one parent struggle, particularly, when it comes to accommodation, is heartbreaking. It can cause worry and anxiety that if it can be avoided should be. I don't know what the answer is, but just don't think you don't matter in all of this, you do.
Do your best to keep it amicable. Don't try and bleed each other dry either emotionally or financially. Seek mediation (before you get into the big bucks advice) and then seal it legally.

I see it is more complicated with your Mum having to be considered. I think, rightly or wrongly, that your first priority is you, your partner and your children. Mum will need to slot into the outcome.

Wise advice from Thirsty, hasten slowly.
 

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks Phoenix53,

My children are the utmost priority and I would like to be as supportive as I can be so that they are secure financially and have a roof over their heads.

Feelings aside for now, I am trying to look at my situation logically with the kids safety in mind. It makes sense that the only way to ensure your kids are secure is to be fair to my wife and myself. I really don’t have any animosity against her but just the sadness of a failing marriage. This is really a turning point where I feel if there isn’t a change in the relationship will only end up damaging everyone much worst.

My mother isn’t really an issue because expenses towards her is my problem if and when formal separation occurs. I have no problem shouldering this responsibility even though it won’t be a walk in the park. Up to this point we have been sharing expenses and support for our family including my mother jointly 50/50 and it has worked great. Namely my mother looking after the children and the house whilst both of us having the freedom and worry-free to work full time including the unmeasurable quality time of the grandma experience for the kids. This has been a winner for all parties involved.

Many thanks
 

robert 200

Frequent Poster
Messages
202
Hi Anotherguy ,
I was in a similar position to yourself many years ago. The best advice I received at the time was that I simply couldnt afford to separate .

No judge is going to agree to the sale of your home with an 8 + 13 year old living there. You will be forced to continue making contributions to
the mortgage and pay maintenance for your children.

Based on your remaining finances you will probably end up renting a flat and your children will be reluctant to visit .

My advice is to sit down with your wife and agree a 5 - 7 year plan whereby you could purchase an apartment ( a safe distance from your home )
and maintain a reasonable standard of living for yourself .

This worked for me , it wasnt easy at the time but the end result was worth it for all parties .

I wish you well
 

Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Hi Robert200

Thanks for the advice especially going through this yourself.

In terms of your solution what do you mean by buying an apartment and cut a 5-7year deal? How does this differ from me continuing to pay an agreed amount of mortgage and child support, move out and rent an apartment? Wouldn’t it be the same thing in terms of accommodation type for my children to come and visit?

I am just trying to get as much information so I have an understanding of what different ways to to go about it

Many Thanks
 

robert 200

Frequent Poster
Messages
202
Hi Anotherguy

The 5 - 7 year deal is to enable you to buy an apartment or try and accumulate some finances for yourself going forward . If you can afford to pay a mortgage , pay your mother , pay maintenance , pay rent and still have enough for your own living expenses then go for it ( I couldnt )

Robert
 
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Anotherguy

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks Robert

I see what you mean but given my age in mortgage terms I would need to have considerate amount of savings to be able to buy another apartment. In 5-7yrs time my chances of being approved a mortgage are pretty slim I would think (I would be in my late 40s by then).


My mother would be living with myself and the only hope I have going the legal route is that the share of financial responsibilities is fair and of course keeping the focus on the welfare of the children.

Considering Thirsty’s guidance above would the court’s view be that I pay full mortgage of my family home and child support too or would the mortgage payments be based on a deal me and my wife agree on?

Regards
 

Paddytrek

New Member
Messages
2
Hi I need help and advice - after 9 years of marriage my wife out of the blue has informed me she wants to separate. I am 47 and she is 43. We moved in together 11 years ago with her 3 year old daughter from another man. I had previously owned our house for 5-6 years, it was my second house on my own. The daughter was always part of the relationship and her father provided no support. it was always in the plan to adopt. years passed and X had problems with ADD. She is now 14 and a couple of months ago decided she didn't want to be adopted. I have never been anything but a father to her but she is 14 and going through a time. So the subject was not pushed. She has always been in her mums ear about wanting to leave just the 2 of them. Now - we have a 9 year old son together.
Once informed of my wife's decision to separate i requested counselling as i had no idea this was on her cards - she does not want reconciliation - the last week or two have been quiet but COVID is hard on all of us.
I want to provide but to be honest i am feeling really ****ed over. I have spoken to a friend mediator who has advised what not to do at this time and have an appointment with a collaborative solicitor later today. I asked my wife to do the same - she didnt go collaborative
The house is in my name with a value of approx 360K - we have some savings approx 80K. Some other assets approx 40K which includes the family car. I owe approx 100K to Mortgage provider
My mortgage is with Ulster bank and at this time it would be unlikely for me to get an extension as they are pulling out of Ireland
I want the kids to be safe but i am feeling very hurt by the older ones actions - she is almost happy we are separating.
I am hurt and extremely emotional - what do i do?
Obviously i want to look after the kids but should i roll over?

Thanks
 

Purple

Frequent Poster
Messages
10,576
That's a horrible situation to be in but unfortunately not that uncommon.
Do not move out of the house. Speak to a solicitor and take the medium term view of what's best for you and both of your children.
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,857
I am hurt and extremely emotional - what do i do?

Please get counselling, right now, today. Before you worry about any of the legal stuff, before you make decisions that will impact the rest of your life, you need help to get your head clear.

Separation/Divorce gouges and tears at everyone in the family; whilst it may seem to be 'easier' on the person requesting the separation, in truth there were likely months if not years of leading up to this.
 

JMJR

Registered User
Messages
24
The Family Mediation Service is a free service offered to couples to help with mutually negotiated settlement of breakup.
Myself and partner used it as we were determined address our breakup and to negotiate a way forward. It is a Legal Aid Board service and is free. The mediators were brilliant and knowledgeable and if all goes well it ends with a mediated agreement which can be used in further legal situations.
I tried to post a link but its not allowing it. Check out the Legal Aid Board IE website.
 

dereko1969

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,864
The Family Mediation Service is a free service offered to couples to help with mutually negotiated settlement of breakup.
Myself and partner used it as we were determined address our breakup and to negotiate a way forward. It is a Legal Aid Board service and is free. The mediators were brilliant and knowledgeable and if all goes well it ends with a mediated agreement which can be used in further legal situations.
I tried to post a link but its not allowing it. Check out the Legal Aid Board IE website.

There's the link
 
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