Advice re realistic 'alimony'

(5 Posts)
OrganGrinderNoMonkey Fri 01-Feb-13 12:06:17

Morning Ladies -wish this site had been around when kids were small -think you're all brilliant! Ex military wife,57, 2 grownup kids. I have left some fantastic jobs as moved every 18 mo etc. Battled aggressive Non Hodgkins Lymphoma for 8 yrs then husb retired and 'left' 3 yrs ago, now with new lady after our 16 yr marriage. No assets at all. He earns £36K + £14K pension which will be £24K + infl in 6 yrs. Has been giving me £12K til recently, now reduced to 800 p.m. I am in pretty poor health after 6 yrs of constant chemo and life expectancy is seriously reduced - perhaps another 6 yrs? Consultant is insistent the cancer will be back and have run out of options. Scrabble around doing odd jobs and have my own RN pension of 159 p.m. My rent is 600p.m. & regular bills of 200 before I eat. Am I unreasonable to ask for £12K pa? Husb is GP, 49 yrs old and capable of earning huge amounts. There seems to be NO set scale and I daren't start borrowing money for solicitors to write letters. I believe I am entitled to nearly half his military pension but he won't get it back when I die so I don't want to wrest if from him if at all possible. Many thanks for any input

MusicToMyEars Fri 01-Feb-13 18:54:09

Sorry to hear your story. I don't have any answers I'm afraid, I'm on here because I'm worrying about my financial position too. If it helps at all, it sounds reasonable to me.

Have you checked whether you might be entitled to any benefits via the Citizens Advice Bureau?

Good Luck

Xenia Sat 02-Feb-13 10:37:09

First of all sorryu about your health/cancer.

So his gross income is £50,000 - salary and pension now and may be is keeping another woman - don't know if he has a second family with her. That's about £35,000 after tax - I just checked. £12,000 is about a third of his net income and presumably he has to pay rent too.

He was giving you £1000 a month now reduced to £800 so about £9600 a year out of his net income of £35,000.

You rightly say if you got a 50% pension sharing order on his pension it would be financially silly for both of you as you will not live very long. Also I suspect given your health the pension companies would not allow a guarantee - my father's pensions were guaranteed to pay out over 10 years and even though he died earlier than that they continued.
So it makes sense to negotiate with him that instead of you exercising your legal right to take half all of his pensions in a pension sharing order he needs to agree to pay you £12k a year for life which will be much cheaper for him than losing 50% of the pensions.

What do mean by GP - doctor?

There are not really set scales for maintenance in England. If both of you could work the courts prefer a clean break and each keep yourselves however here you gave up work to follow his career (luckily in my case I earned 10x my ex and he followed my work - perhaps we need to ensure more women do what I do so they do not end up reliant on men for money in the next generation so I paid out to him on the divorce). I think any lawyer is likely to tell him he has to pay a reasonable sum for you. Given how much his pension is likely to go up I would have thought £12k out of his taxed income was fair particularly if you actively seek a full time job if your health enables you to do that. Have you looked into whether you are eligible for housing benefit?

AuntieStella Sat 02-Feb-13 10:45:20

If it's a military pension, the usual way to split would be for you to receive one half of the qualifying years for the duration of the marriage. So that would be roughly 8/22nds worth? Ditto proportion of lump sum.

OrganGrinderNoMonkey Mon 04-Feb-13 22:07:54

Many thanks ladies. I have drummed into my latin teacher daughter from aged 4 to be independant NO MATTER how much she is in love!

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