Experience and advice please-sorry a lot of background here
Perhaps unusual as other way round for most people I suspect
About to go to solicitor to kick off divorce. All financial information available and open to both of us. We are both retired and receiving pensions. Stbexh has both occupational pension and state. I have my occupational pension but not state pension for another 9 years
My total current pensions are roughly 60% more than his. This has arisen because he was not working for last 15 years pre retirement and prior to that in and out of work. I had to ( it wasn’t a choice) to work extremely hard full time to support us and our 2 kids ( no longer dependant and left home). The reason he did not work was nominally difficulties due to mental illness. However, he took many actions/ failed to take actions that led to his precarious career. This included long periods of applying for jobs he was not qualified for/ had experience, being fired for performance issues, being summarily dismissed for threatening behaviour. He refused to apply for more basic roles he could have done with his condition limitations. At times he also refused to sign onto social support meaning he did not even get benefits or NI record (we paid a lump sum just before het retired to make this up to get his max state pension). He also sold a gold plated defined benefit pension to a personal pot years ago without discussion which means he lost about £4500 guaranteed pension income ( ok, I know a lot of FPS were persuaded to do this is 1990, but I had same company ensign scheme and did not because of risk). There were occasional when we really struggled financially, we could afford very few luxuries such as any family holidays, and at times even went into a small amount of debt. So in short he made unilateral decisions about his career and future security that were at the time detrimental to us as a family and impacted his now pension income.
We now have a very healthy set of assets ( due to inheritances mainly in last 5 years and reduced outgoings due to kids leaving home) and I am in a very fortunate situation compared with many others. A straight 50:50 split will be enough for us each to buy a modest home outright and still having some healthy savings, plus be very even handed about allocating costs to cover divorce and setting us both up with new lives.
My concern is that he and his solicitor will put a claim in for spousal support and I will end up having to support him still by supplementing his pension income by taking out of my income or a settlement out of assets giving him a higher share. His pensions amount to about £14000 per year post tax, mine in the mid £20k.
I feel this would be totally unreasonable
All my salary went into our joint account but was the only income and I single handily supported the entire family for years and years. It was not a choice I made, it wasn’t needed for childcare or supporting my career ( I actually had to be his carer as well as work full time from 2008). I could not save into additional voluntary contributions to boost my own pension as there was no spare income due to him not working.
I will add he has a higher level education than me ( post grad) and when we married was on a salary twice mine ( as was also 9 years older) for first year before it all went belly up. If he had worked even part time or at more basic jobs his pensions would have been higher. If he had not got into conflict in work he would not have lost jobs in the first place.
I feel like I have already paid the price of his behaviour on how we lived when I was sole breadwinner and was earning. I am struggling at thought I would have to do this for the rest of my life after divorce
I am divorcing him on grounds of unreasonable behaviour- he now refuses medication, which is his right, but he lied repeatedly about it and we both know that unmedicated we cannot live together as there are safe guarding issues for me (and anyone else he gets in to conflict with)
Anyone know what likely outcome would be if he decided to fight me all the way to court?
Please can I ask that folks don’t jump on a band wagon of me being “entitled” or “privileged”. I had to retire early due to my own ill health bought on by dealing with this for years. I have effectively been sole breadwinner, single parent and carer. At times I have dealt with abusive behaviour due to mental health service short falls. It has been miserable. I am on anti anxiety meds for years. I’ve finally decided after 30 years, that marriage vows or not I cannot continue and maintain my own mental well-being.
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