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Can I still claim 1/2 his salary?

(35 Posts)
madgered Thu 31-Jan-13 15:01:18

I am a SAHM to 4 children aged 5 - 22. I haven't worked for 23 years. My husband wants a divorce. We are in the early stages getting our financial statements together. I am terrified for my financial future. My DH has done some dodgy things.

He owes £1.9million in tax. He's been caught by the Inland Revenue for tax evasion. He earns £600 +K at the moment, some of which is going on tax repayment (A significant amount has already been saved, he knew he was going to be nailed)

My question is: Will I have to settle with half of what is left of his salary at this moment in time. Or will I be given 1/2 of what his salary will be after he's paid off his tax debt in a year's time?

MOSagain Thu 31-Jan-13 15:16:32

I'm not quite sure why you think you are entitled to half of his salary? You are entitled to a fair share of the matrimonial assets, ie a share of the former matrimonial home, possibly his pension and maintenance but this doesn't necessarily mean half of his salary.

You need to seek advice from a family lawyer. Have a look on the Resolution website for one near you.

I don't think you get half his salary.

Any assets ie the house etc will be split, there will be maintenance for the younger children. You may get some spousal support if you lost out on your own career though giving it up to support his.

I saw your other thread the other day. You do still need to start looking at working yourself and not relying on him for money.
I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along in a minute.

Gigondas Thu 31-Jan-13 15:20:21

Agree with everything mos says- get proper advice .

If you are granted ancillary relief , it does usually take into account tax and is also unlikely to represent half his salary unless there are unusual circumstances (eg no significant assets to split which doesn't sound the case here).

Whilst I understand you are worried, you're not going to get a definite answer on Mn or anywhere else on the net.

gallicgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 15:27:58

I would also be checking what's in your name and what's in his - just make sure he's not used your name for anything dodgy!

mumblechum1 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:03:17

You're going to be expected to at least be trying to find a job, OP. Normally spousal maintenance is only paid if there's enough left over from the husband's salary after he's paid his own costs and child maintenance for the under-18s.

Even then, it's extremely rare for spousal mtce to be paid for life; it's more a way of giving you some breathing space to start becoming independent.

Corygal Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:25

HMRC get first go at the money, OP.

madgered Fri 01-Feb-13 15:19:28

Saw Solicitors today. Im not expected to get a job, because of DC. So I don't have to stress about that.

His income will be divided, so that's a relief. The assets have to pay off debt.

Phew. Feeling a bit more secure now.

ivykaty44 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:25:34

how would you ever feel secure hanging on to someone you describe as dodgy

Gigondas Fri 01-Feb-13 15:31:10

Ivykaty is right-He can also vary maintenance down if his circumstances Change .

Whilst it is good you don't have to find a Job immediately with all the upheaval, it is not going to be something you can put off indefinitely.

MOSagain Fri 01-Feb-13 15:47:17

I'm sorry but I don't necessarily agree. I think most Judges (and of course ex-husbands) would expect you to try to find some kind of job. Your youngest is at school full time so technically you would be able to get a part time job. It is not unreasonable though for you to undergo a short period of training in order to enable you to secure a job. You cannot simply sit back and expect to receive spousal maintenance for life although as DH is a high earner that could be a possibility. However, due to what you've said about his financial situation/business dealings, it is not in my opinion, a sure bet that you will get long term spousal maintenance.

He will of course have to pay child maintenance but spousal maintenance is a different issue. Please don't automatically think you are going to get 'x'% of his income.

mumblechum1 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:54:26

I agree with MOS. It's extremely unusual to get open ended spousal maintenance unless the wife is disabled ime.

Your solicitor's view is just that. The other side are likely to have a different one, so you should certainly be thinking about at least looking for some sort of work. Apart from anything else, if your husband goes out of business, you'll be in a far better position if you have already built up some sort of independence.

ihearsounds Fri 01-Feb-13 16:10:29

Since when has children been a clause to not get a job?

Child maintenance will be a percentage of wages.

Spousal maintenance is usually paid if the other party cannot support themselves.

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 16:14:16

How would you not be expected to get a job??

Current rules are once a child reaches 5 you are expected to seek work. From April this will gradually become from 1.

Obviously with your financial situation you may not need to claim benefits but that is the general rule. I don't think your solicitor is right at all.

You will be entitled to maintenance for the children and a share of the assets but not half his salary. At all.

MOSagain Fri 01-Feb-13 16:21:48

Fairylea that rule is when one is seeking benefits, which the OP I assume is not doing.
There are occasions when the wife does have the luxury of not having to work and receives spousal maintenance for life, however this really is quite rare and given the husband's financial situation in this case, it does not sound like it will be a dead cert.

Scrazy Fri 01-Feb-13 16:31:26

The child support alone might be enough to live off comfortably without the need for the OP to work.

Since when was it a rule that you look for work once your youngest is 5. It is when you are on benefits but that's a totally different situation.

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 16:32:35

Yes as I said. IF you claim benefits.

I was just giving an example.

Scrazy Fri 01-Feb-13 16:34:01

I should hope that a woman previously married to a man earning 600K would not need to claim benefits.

Jinsei Fri 01-Feb-13 16:42:59

I definitely think you need to start considering the long term, OP. Presumably you'll have to return to work at some stage, even if it's when the children are

Jinsei Fri 01-Feb-13 16:43:57

I definitely think you need to start considering the long term, OP. Presumably you'll have to return to work at some stage, even if it's when the children are older. Better to get some recent experience in now if you ask me.

Hope you are ok.

bubbles1231 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:46:17

You are entitled to a proportion of his pension I think, if you have been a SAHM and therefore not had the opportunity to pay in to one.

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 17:07:59

So would I Scrazy. But then the op said her dh had some very dodgy dealings financially and owes nearly £2 MILLION in tax ... so I thought it was worth mentioning in case there was more dodgy stuff to come or indeed that the op doesn't know about.

I also think the op needs to find a job really. Long term this is the only way of securing your financial future and being in control of your own finances.

And I say that as a woman who has been completely left in the lurch by ex husbands... leaving me with debts that mean I had no option but to downsize dramatically and take a minimum wage job in order to provide for myself and my then very young dd.

madgered Fri 01-Feb-13 18:20:19

I have been doing some one day cooking classes, so Im not totally expecting to sit back. I will definitely do something but with 23 years out of work it will take some time and serious thinking about.

The tax situation is his only debt. That I know for sure.

nefertarii Fri 01-Feb-13 18:27:32

OP I think you may want to seek another opinion on what you have been told.

It is unlikely that you will be given half of your exs wages. especially when your youngest dc is at school.

While its not benefits, its often treated the same. He will not be expected to fully support you when you do not support yourself at all and are able to.

It may take a long time to figure out what you want to do. But get a part time job in the meantime.

What are you hoping the cooking classes will achieve. Are you looking at a job catering? What qualifications will these classes give you.

colditz Fri 01-Feb-13 18:32:48

You can't be a sahm to a person over eighteen. If your five year old is your only child under eighteen, you will receive 15% of your exes income after tax. If he has no income after paying his tax, you get nada, I think.

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 19:18:46

If cooking interests you can I recommend doing a food hygiene course? I have worked in catering for many years and this will make you more attractive to employers. It would most likely only take a day and you can even do it online.

babybarrister Fri 01-Feb-13 22:06:59

It sounds like you have been incomplete advice - if he owes so much is there not a chance he will be charged with tax evasion in which case he simply will not be earning as he might be in prison? In addition, the HMRC will take their money first and out of the whole pot as they are very unlikely to accept that you have not indirectly had some benefit out of the taxes evaded - as a non earning spouse you were reliant on his income and so if he had more because he was not paying tax, you were also benefitting. Is you solicitor a member of Resolution? are they a specialist in relation to divorce and insolvency?

OP, this isn't meant to be insulting but: if your husband's income derives from criminal activity then it may all be siezed, and if he is sent to prison he won't be able to earn anything much. I suggest you look into what benefits you would get as a single parent (and if you currently have any valuables in the way of jewellery, other than heirlooms or whatever, that you sell them and stash the money.)

NatashaBee Sat 02-Feb-13 01:55:01

I would not assume you will get any of his salary. For all you know, as others have said, his assets could be seized or he could be sent to prison. I would work on getting a job and becoming self sufficient, so you know you can manage without him if needed.

It is possible to claim spousal support if your ex partner is a high earner - but I think the tax issue muddies the water somewhat, HMRC generally come at the top of the creditor list

Fairylea Sat 02-Feb-13 04:53:57

Exactly re last few posters.

I also really don't think you can assume this is the only thing he's done wrong with regards to money. You say you are sure it is - how can you be sure? This is a man who has cheated on you and lied with regard to taxes to the tune of two million - I don't think you can be so sure you know him at all.

I also hope that this income isn't purely self employed as if hes anything like my ex he will suddenly claim his income is nothing like what you think it is and you won't be claiming much of anything at all .

If you're really unlucky he will sod off to the USA like my ex and you won't be able to trace anything or even work out what bank accounts he has or anything.

The joys of being married to utter shits.

PatriciaHolm Sat 02-Feb-13 16:26:07

You need to take what your solicitor says with a realistic view. Your solicitor is working to get you the best deal, and he/she may have suggested "you'll get" half his income, but its just that, a suggestion. There is no law to determine that you get that. His solicitor is likely to laugh in at the suggestion. If you can't agree, it will go to court, and you are very very unlikely to get that in court.

If your husband is self employed, there are many many ways he could make it look as if he earns significantly less than he does.

With 23 years of non-earning marriage and school age kids, spousal maintenance for some period is possible. It's not a ticket for life though.

You definitely won't get 50% of his salary. 50% of marital assets maybe, but not salary. You will get child maintenance, and to start with personal maintenance, but this will probably be for an agreed period only to allow you to get a job and become financially independent.

As to what you will get, you will have to fill in very detailed report of expenditure, which the court will look at and decide whether your demands are reasonable. This document together with the court view will be the basis of negotiations between your and your H's legal team.

I was advised I could expect full personal maintenance for 5 years (after 12 years marriage). I thought that was fair. Your ex is not a meal ticket for life.

greenfolder Sat 02-Feb-13 17:08:32

You would presumably get around 45k pa based on 15 percent of take home pay, for 13 years. Plus marital assets and some spousal support. I think I would push for a lump sum instead of ongoing support in the circs

Numberlock Sat 02-Feb-13 17:11:20

I appreciate it's scary thinking about returning to work after 23 years but I think you need to focus on that and not use your children as an excuse. Working, whether paid or voluntary, will give you independence, increased confidence,less thinking time, opportunities to make new friends and to take control if your own destiny rather than relying on someone else. Yes he should support his children but I don't think it's his role to support you for the next 13 years till the youngest is 18.

riveroise Mon 04-Feb-13 03:16:22

If he's dodgy, and has been evading tax on such a massive scale, I would not count on him for anything to be honest.

50% of nothing is still nothing!

I would be looking very carefully at your assets, and seeing who owns what legally, so that when the HMRC demand payment, you know where you stand.

Look to securing a roof over you and your children's head, and paying household bills.

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