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Divorcing PPR and child maintenance

  • 17-09-2023 8:46pm
    Registered Users Posts: 21

    Myself and ex spouse are in early stages of divorce. I left the family home due to her having an affair . We have 4 children. I work full time earning circa 70k. She works part time and receives one parent payment and child benefit. My query is the house is in my name only. I only ever paid it she never contributed. I pay the full mortgage , after school costs and 150 euro cash per month . Total outlay is 1500 per month . My take home is 3500 per month . On top of this I pay half clothes , medical , school , trips etc . This averages another 200 per month . My ex believes I should be paying much more . I am living back with parents and take the kids 3 nights one week and 2 the following . We are in 1 shared room in bunks . I cannot afford to rent . I’m struggling very hard to see any positive outcome from divorce proceedings. I can’t see a scenario where I can get a home unless the current home is sold . My solicitor said that won’t happen . Am I paying too much / not enough ? Any advice is grateful . From the outside in people believe I am paying too much as it is a the general consensus is that her having zero housing costs is unfair . I just hope the courts regard the mortgage payment in lieu of maintenance or I’m completely screwed

    Post edited by Stheno on



  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭Senature

    If possible, try to tune out the noise about affairs, blame or 'your house'. Sit down with a spreadsheet or pen and paper, and work out how you and your ex's combined incomes can pay for two homes, and all other expenses including school, medical, food, utilities, clothes, transport etc for all six of you. That is what will have to happen going forward. It is not realistic for you to live with your parents in the medium to long term. You will each require a home that is large enough to accommodate all the children overnight (albeit likely in shared bedrooms as there are 4 kids).

    If there does not seem to be enough money to cover this, one or both of you need to increase your income. It may be prudent to move back in to the family home until this has all been worked out.

    IF for much of the time you say you have been paying all of the mortgage yourself, your ex has been taking care of your children while you worked, that's not a particularly accurate way of assessing things.

    It's not correct that she would have an automatic entitlement to stay in the house until the kids are grown. Get some good legal advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭Str8outtaWuhan

    Also , and I hate even saying this but if she has cheated , how sure are you this hasn't happened before? And how sure are you that your kids are yours?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭thegame983

    Move back in. It's your house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Hammerhead1

    Thank you for the comments . Post separation I stayed on the sofa for 8 weeks . My mental health suffered exponentially staying in the house . I won’t be going back . We both have new partners . I was advised by a barrister the likelihood is she will be given 8-10 years in the house not when the youngest is 23. I also won’t be quitting a job . Would 1750 out of 3500 salary seek excessive to most in terms of contribution?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    The Courts will definitely consider the mortgage payments you are making, in whatever final settlement is made.

    But you need to put it out of your head that the fact that she had an affair will make any difference to the settlement. It won't. Ireland is a "no fault" state. Plus working part time and rearing four kids, is contributing.

    As a married couple, the house is a marital asset, no matter whose name is on it, and yes, it is almost 0% chance it will be sold until the youngest child is 23 or finishes their education. (Whichever comes first).

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Hammerhead1

    If that is the case what happens in 20 years time ? She gets 50% of the equity that I have been paying the entire mortgage off post divorce? If that’s the case what happens if I just decide to stop paying it ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,232 ✭✭✭Ginger83

    Sorry to read about your situation. You need good legal advice from an experienced professional.

    Regardless of what happens going forward look after your health.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    The reality is, unless there would be enough equity in the sale of the family home to clear the existing mortgage and give you both a chance at a fresh start, the likelihood of the courts ordering the sale of the family home is practically nil.

    A Property Adjustment Order will be made as part of the divorce which will determine the split of the property. You could stop paying the mortgage, and the house will eventually be repossessed, but you won't be able to buy anywhere else in the interim, and if the mortgage loan is only in your name then remember that it will be your credit rating that is destroyed. You won't get financing anywhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 esker72

    I'd guess not paying the mortgage will make it impossible to get a mortgage in the future. Maybe going interest only might be worthwhile exploring and maybe put the savings in the mortgage payments into a pension. You'd get tax relief on this and you may not lose half of it as it's a post marital asset. Bank may not agree to it long term though

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,245 ✭✭✭XsApollo

    You are entitled to live, stop paying everything/or just pay mortgage only, And find somewhere to live /rent , and then after that start thinking about how much you can afford.

    you can’t pay what you don’t have , it’s that simple really.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Hammerhead1

    In the event ex spouse remains in the house for the next 20 years am I considered a fresh start applicant if buying a new home ? Or not as I have a legal interest in a property. The whole setup seems pretty unfair . Seems a very long road ahead to recovery

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,245 ✭✭✭XsApollo

    Yes it is a nightmare , and worse if you have a partner who is going to make it like that.

    i don’t think you can be classed as a first time buyer again if you have an interest in the family home already.

    if you were bought out, you can be classed as a first time buyer again, after separation/Divorce.

    number one thing now would be to get yourself a place to live.

    if any access issues come up about the kids during the divorce I’m not sure how favourably it would be looked at to be bunking in a single room. ( or if that would even be a problem , I dunno)

    but you gotta start looking after yourself, get a place , have your outgoings in place already, a judge isn’t going to order you to pay something you don’t have, and renting a place at a certain cost , so that you and your kids have somewhere to live is the best thing.

    your soon to be EX also has a responsibility.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,747 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams

    You need to get her in front of a judge and stop making your own decisions

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭GalwayGaillimh

    In Ireland divorce is not final either there is no such thing as a clean break in Irish law...if she falls on hard times she can come back looking for more...

    Si Deus Nobiscum Qui Contra Nos

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭Fiona

    The only way to make a divorce final in Ireland is to get married again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,755 ✭✭✭Jude13

    Pal, she cheated, move take your house back. She can mind the kids during the day. She can stay with her new partner at nights.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Hammerhead1

    The cost of rent is crazy . I just don’t earn enough to rent a property within 100km of dublin.I would struggle to even save the deposit

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Hammerhead1

    New guy is not in the house . He has his own house . Financially my best scenario is she wants the house sold and bulks up with new guy but that obviously affects my kids and then if the house is sold and her new relationship suddenly ends that could be messy . It’s all kinda messy

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,760 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    How is she getting one parent payment? That makes zero sense if you are contributing. Is she defrauding the Social Welfare?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,209 ✭✭✭jj880

    Deary me. You learn something every day. This is quite unbelievable. The legislation on that would make interesting reading.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,817 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    its not a post marital asset as op is still married.

    With a new partner IIRC she is no longer a single parent so I would be reporting her for SW fraud.

    OP, fairness does not come into this, its stacked against the man so just work with the system and deal with facts.

    I have just completed this obstacle course and you should try reaching a settlement without going to court to fight it out: I got out for 13,500 in legals.

    A few days in court arguing over the netflix account or the electric toothbrush will run you 10's of 1'000s

    Also note that, for openers, its half all your assets, and her lawyers will make a pitch for half your pension pot.

    When you see her statement of claim, just remember paper never refused ink.

    Have a look at the rent a room scheme in the context of you staying in your parents home, you need "rental" outgoings to balance the books.

    As there will be full disclosure of bank statements etc etc... remember cash is king, but be reasonable with the withdrawals.

    Good luck with this and remember there is life after the big D


    On mature reflection, the fact that you both have new partners might simplify the process, along as you are not cohabiting, your partners income should not come into your affidavits but I would expect her partner's income will, assuming he is living in the family home

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    Its not fraudulent.

    Once the OP and his wife are no longer living at the same address (and he has already confirmed that he has left, and she is not cohabitating with a new partner) then she does legitimately qualify for One Parent Family payment once her income falls below the specified limits.

    There is no rule that says claimants of OPFA cannot form relationships. Only cohabitation is not allowed.

    OPFA is also means tested. In this case, the OP's ex-wife's income from employment (she works part time) plus any contribution or maintenance made by her ex-husband will be assessed as means and her payment reduced accordingly.

    For the record, this is nothing to do with gender. (Men also have mammary glands!) If the positions were reversed and the OP had stayed in the family home with the children and she had left, he would have been eligible to apply for OPFA if he met the criteria.

    Post edited by Ezeoul on