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Ex threatening Court Action Unless i Agree to His Maintenance Offer

(80 Posts)
Joy5 Fri 04-Oct-13 11:55:40

Hi

Been trying to sort the finances out for the past 12 months with my ex (we divorced at the beginning of this year), i made an offer two weeks ago asking for spousal and child maintenace until our youngest leaves FT education in six years. I'm back at university now, and hopeful of getting a much better paid job in two years time, then i can try and improve my credit rating so i'll be able to take on a mortgage on a family size home myself.

My ex is saying (his solicitor has spoken to mine this morning) unless i agree to him ending maintenace when our youngest is 18 is will file court papers next week.

Has anyone been in this position, and braved it out? Did your ex actually file court papers, or did they threaten too but then come to an agreement before doing it?

Really don't know what to do about this, am on a low income and can't afford the legale fees for a court case, but if i agree to my ex's offer, we'll be selling the family home in 3 years time, and trying to rent with my bad credit rating.

Hoping someone whose been in this position can give me some advice.

pootlebug Sat 05-Oct-13 17:26:20

My husband and his ex went to court. Wouldn't recommend it - legal fees ate up huge amounts of money and both ended up with less than if she'd accepted what he first offered.

But the judge awarded spousal maintenance exactly in line with CSA requirements.....which is until the end of full time education (A-levels) but not further education. I'd not expect a court to award child maintenance beyond that point.

So the question is over whether you should get spousal maintenance for that long. Is there any other way - could you have a greater % share of assets instead, but then the shorter maintenance period? DH's ex was awarded 4 years spousal maintenance (until Stepson was 14). She'd not worked for 10 years. But she did get the majority of the assets.

babybarrister Sat 05-Oct-13 20:46:05

In the south east there are plenty of cases where a wife gets spousal maintenance after the children have left home. No-one on these threads could possibly say whether this might be the case for OP

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 08:04:01

"I gave up a high paid job nearly ten years ago, to care for my termily ill Dad"

I really fail to see that this makes your ex husband financially responsible for you now.

PlatinumStart Mon 07-Oct-13 09:34:39

Crikey these men make me feel sick.

If they were still with the mother of their child, would they financially support their DC through further education?

If they were still with the mother of their child, would they support their DC post A levels by providing bed and board?

If they were still with the mother of their child, would they do everything to ensure stability for their DC through the provision of a stable home?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes then why be an arse just because you walked out?

OhDearNigel Mon 07-Oct-13 09:38:59

Please don't think of court as some sort of scary place/being prosecuted.

If you will not agree his offer and he won't agree with what you want, the court is the only way that you have left, for someone else to decide. Your DH has no other way to go.

lostdad Mon 07-Oct-13 13:41:18

Collaborate - `In this situation you need legal advice rather than a McKenzie Friend, whose function is to assist you during court proceedings when you are otherwise too emotional to deal properly with it. Most McKenzie Friends will not try and advise you in relation to financial orders on divorce, and the rest to be frank shouldn't'

My partner is a McKenzie Friend, a trained paralegal and has 14 years of experience of civil litigation. I'm aware of many other McKenzie Friends who are also assisting in finance hearings too. My partner has found that a lot of Family Law solicitors have little contract law knowledge and increasingly she's dealing with hearings that need a knowledge of both.

Collaborate Mon 07-Oct-13 13:52:18

I'm not sure what you mean by a "trained paralegal". People measure training by qualifications. Paralegals need have no particular qualifications.

As a solicitor I have to undertake at least 16 hours of professional development (education) a year. To continue with my professional accreditations I need to, once every 5 years, sit an examination (for one) and for another attend regular meetings.

I had 4 years of pre-and -post-graduate study behind me when I qualified, together with 2 years of being a trainee solicitor (similar to being a paralegal but with an obligation in the firm to train) and still wasn't comfortable giving advice until I'd been doing it a few years.

Seldom does contract law come in to divorce disputes, as the court can alter existing contractual obligations between the parties.

wink1970 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:38:29

so your son reaches 18 in 3 years time, but you want your ex to support you both for another 3 years?

I can see why you might want/expect him to help support your son for longer, but not why he should support you. You are divorced, with that comes a financial break from each other.

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 17:26:55

"Crikey these men make me feel sick.If they were still with the mother of their child, would they financially support their DC through further education?"

There is nothing in the OP to suggest the father has any objection to supporting his adult child through university. He has clearly raised an objection to paying maintenance to his adult child's mother. Two very different things.

Joy5 Mon 07-Oct-13 18:07:57

My ex is refusing to pay supporting his child through HE as well as maintenace for me.

The only reason i would like maintenance to be paid until my youngest son is 21 is that currently I earn less then 10k a year. I've been refused a mortgage in my own name, when i tried to rent last year i was refused on my credit rating (and i had to pay for the credit check to be carried out).

I've just started a university qualification that means hopefully in two years i'll be qualified to apply for a much better paid job , which in turns mean i'll be able to apply for a mortgage in my own name. Unfortunately i don't see that happening straight away after i qualify.

I've been told by my solicitor that with my low income, and my ex's high income i'd more then likely be awarded spousal maintenace for a long time to come. I actually don't want his money, which is why i'm studying and working at the same time, but i can't magically go from earning my current low salary to earning enough to pay a mortgage, which is why i'm asking for maintenace for 3 years after my youngest son turns 18. Once i manage to get a better paid job, i'll look into re mortgaging in my own name, so i'm hoping we can leave this house (its actually very big and costs too much to heat, so we rarely have the heating on, i wouldn't be hear if i could find somewhere smaller) in 3 to 4 years time, before my youngest is 21. Its doing us no good living in a house that isn't going to be permanent, the sooner i can re mortgage myself, the better as far as i'm concerned.

I'm not a money grabbing ex wife trying to hang onto her ex's money for as long as she can, i really don't have a choice at them moment. My ex has told me, if our sons live with me then i should maintain them, and that seems to be what is driving him with his current actions.

Perhaps you should claim spousal maintenance and use that to help until you get a better paid job. I know it might not be your preferred route but maybe that is the only practical option.

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 18:32:32

Earning 10k do you not receive tax credits?

I assume your student child will receive max grant/loan given your income.

"The only reason i would like maintenance to be paid until my youngest son is 21 is that currently I earn less then 10k a year"

Still failing to see why this is your exes responsibility.

Joy5 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:22:13

I do receive child credits for my youngest child but not for my middle child.

The mortgage is large, to reflect my ex's income as he supported me for over twenty five years.

He decided to leave 3 years after the death of our eldest son, for another woman, at the same time deciding i should support our two younger sons if they lived with me.

Our middle son had serious depression a year ago, he was found on the verge of sucide, his depression was caused by him becoming older then his elder brother was when he died, in the same week as his Dad told him he was seeing someone else. A year later hes still not up to studying, or working, he also has aspergers.

Allnewtaketwo, you might fail to see why it is my exes resonsibility to support us until i'm in a postition to take over the role he gave up two years ago. I just hope you're never in a similar position to the one we've found ourselves in, just because my ex decided he could no longer live with our grief and depression, and preferred to live with his new partner and her children.

I've had to take so much time off work since my ex moved out, due to my two younger sons struggling so much. My younger son slept with me he was in such a state for most of the first year after his Dad left, hes fifteen, its hardly the behavour of most boys his age, but he isn't like most boys, he saw his elder brother die, hes struggled with that memory ever since, his Dad moving out just made things worse for him. I havn't been up to making a decison about how to earn more money or doing anything about it, until recently. We're hardly in a position to manage financially straight away, but i am doing everything i can so in the near future i can manage to support both my younger sons and provide them with a home for however long they need one. I take my responsibilities seriously, i'm a mum forever, i'll be there for however long they need me, not just because the calendar says there 18, so should somehow support themselves as their father seems to think now.

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 20:14:02

"Allnewtaketwo, you might fail to see why it is my exes resonsibility to support us until i'm in a postition to take over the role he gave up two years ago"

No, I specifically don't see why it's his job to support you.

It's all very well wanting to support an adult child financially through university, but a parent can only make that choice if they can afford to do so. Which you clearly can't.

The system recognises this impact on the student and so taking account of your low salary, your student child will receive a larger grant and loan than would be the case if you earned more/still lived with your ex. I'm assuming you're planning on your student child claiming max grant whilst you're receiving 'child' maintenance for him from your ex?

Joy5 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:45:31

Students don't receive grants anymore. All i want to do is provide a roof over their heads while they study, until they are in a position to support themselves. Expecting their parents to provide a home while they study is hardly unreasonable, just because my ex wants to abdicate his responsibilites doesn't mean he should be allowed to. He made a decision to have children, just because life got too hard after the death of our eldest son, doesn't mean he can walk away financially like he wants too.

Their living expenses will be down to them to earn while they study.

A student loan is just that, a loan until they earn over a certain amount, not to be used up to the maximum just because its there, i certainly won't be enouraging either of my younger sons to get themselves into debt if it can be helped, and if their parents provide a home there will be no need to have a student loan.

I call that responsible, its all too easy to say someone else should pay as part of the 'system'. The system costs all of us far too much money as it is without my younger sons claiming even more from the system.

All i want maintenance for is to provide a home for my two younger sons, i'll provide everything else such as food out of my small income.

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 20:56:07

Maintenance grants still exist

"A student loan is just that, a loan until they earn over a certain amount, not to be used up to the maximum just because its there, i certainly won't be enouraging either of my younger sons to get themselves into debt if it can be helped". That's all very well if you can afford it, but you clearly can't.

STIDW Mon 07-Oct-13 21:45:03

allnewtaketwo wrote;

The system recognises this impact on the student and so taking account of your low salary, your student child will receive a larger grant and loan than would be the case if you earned more/still lived with your ex. I'm assuming you're planning on your student child claiming max grant whilst you're receiving 'child' maintenance for him from your ex?

Perhaps the system is wrong or at least there is a lack of joined up thinking. Why should student loans be assessed against one parent's income and tax payer/universities pick up the tab when the other parent has the resources to contribute towards their student offspring's maintenance? Here in Scotland (and most of the rest of Europe!) there is a general obligation for all parents to support young students financially when they can afford to do so.

Child maintenance is a contribution towards all the costs of raising a child. In England & Wales although under 18s are a priority in divorce settlements over 18s in education aren't irrelevant. It isn't at all unreasonable for a dependent "child" to be provided with a base when they are university even if they don't live there full time. When they come home apart from accommodation they need to be fed, use utilities, wash their clothes and take supplies of food and toiletries etc back to uni.

When someone has taken a gap in employment or worked in lower paid part time or flexible jobs to fit around child care commitments they can are usually left financially disadvantaged on divorce. For example they have lost out on promotions, salary increases and the amount of disposable income they have available to save for retirement long after divorce. So being married and having children has a lifelong impact on their finances and longer term spouse maintenance can be justified to redress the balance.

honey86 Mon 07-Oct-13 22:19:48

i know this isnt relevent really and no offence intended. but id trust collaborate the solicitor for correct legal advice more than a mckenzie friend from fnf. get some legal advice op, they do the half hr free thing now dont they?

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Oct-13 06:57:47

STIDW The OP gave up her 'highly paid job' to care for her father. That's very sad, but again, not the exes responsibility to compensate now

Collaborate Tue 08-Oct-13 07:03:50

That is your personal opinion.

Those who are lawyers however dispense advice on the basis of what the law says.

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Oct-13 07:34:20

Yes morals and the law can be 2 very different things hmm

Collaborate Tue 08-Oct-13 08:58:43

No two people will share exactly the same morals. There is room for different shades of opinion (on AIBU?) when debating what the law should be, but not when stating what the law is and replying to a reasonable request for advice or guidance.

wink1970 Tue 08-Oct-13 16:17:47

Hello OP

just a thought, why not agree to sell the house now? your child is old enough not to be 'traumatised' (I'm always a bit hmm about that argument anyway) by having to move home, and both parties can start afresh - you with hopefully a decent amount of money behind you.

win = The ex can still fulfil his child support obligations, and his share of the house sale proceeds might actually help him to do so.

win = you get your hands on what sounds like some much-needed cash

win = you move into somewhere smaller & actually put the heating on

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 08-Oct-13 16:57:09

"STIDW The OP gave up her 'highly paid job' to care for her father. That's very sad, but again, not the exes responsibility to compensate now"

I agree, the ex likely had no say in the decision so why should he have to continue to pay after leaving. His children are one thing, he ex another.

The OP blasts him over finances but doesnt work full time herself s pot kettle black springs to mind.

A clean break with child maintainence is much better, both adults can then get on with their new lives.

babybarrister Tue 08-Oct-13 19:51:05

Lots of comments about morality on here but not very many about the law. If OP wanted general comments she would have posted in AIBU ....

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