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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.

babybarrister Fri 04-Oct-13 12:52:05

You NEED to speak to your solicitor who will be in a much better position to weigh up risks. No advice on here could ever replace the advice of someone who understands all of the details. It is simply not a black or white issue

lostdad Fri 04-Oct-13 13:18:06

If you have a problem paying legal fees consider using a McKenzie Friend. Google the term and you'll find lots. Phone them up. Ask them what their experience is. Ask for references. Research them.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 13:20:38

His request to end child maintenance when the youngest is 18 sounds very reasonable. What objection do you have to this?

Joy5 Fri 04-Oct-13 15:09:21

Objecting in that i currently earn under 10k, i don't earn enough to pay the mortgage on the family home, or to move us into a smaller house. When i tried to rent last year, i failed the credit check, which is now even worse has my ex defaulted on a joint loan.

I'm studying at uni, whilst still working so in 2 to 3 years i'll be qualified to apply for a job at 3 times what i'm earning now, and thats just the starting salary.

If my ex supports us for the next six years until our youngest leaves ft education it gives me the time to get the better paid job and then to hopefully re mortgage in my own name.

Thanks lostdad for the suggestion of the Mckensie friend, i'll look into it this weekend.

Know i've got to take my solicitors advice, but would feel better if i knew someone else who'd been in a similar situation and how it worked out for them.

Collaborate Fri 04-Oct-13 16:13:07

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.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 16:44:54

"If my ex supports us for the next six years until our youngest leaves ft education it gives me the time to get the better paid job and then to hopefully re mortgage in my own name."

I'm struggling to see what this has to do with you insisting he pays child maintenance for an over 18yo

JustMe1993 Fri 04-Oct-13 16:51:00

http://www.sfla.co.uk/endmaintenance.htm

This should help

"let’s say then that your 18-year-old is still studying for A levels and wants to go to university. You would still owe child maintenance for this child because she is in school, non-advanced study and under the age of 19."

As long as your 18yo is still in full time education it says he has to pay as he is still responsible for them.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 16:56:03

OP are you wanting the CM just to continue up to the end up A levels, or beyond? I got the impression you meant the latter, as it is generally the case that A CM ceases at 18 (unless the student is doing resits)

STIDW Fri 04-Oct-13 17:14:05

Normally the courts have no powers to impose a court order for child maintenance because the CSA/CMS has jurisdiction. IF child maintenance can be agreed it may be included in an order only "by consent." However either party may then apply to the CSA/CMS after 12 months and the consent order ceases to have any effect so an application to the courts could be a waste of time. There are exceptions (including maintenance for over 18s in education) so you really do need to see a solicitor to find out where you stand and what options there are given your particular circumstances.

As far as CSA/CMS rules are concerned a child qualifies for child maintenance until the age of 20 now if they are continuing full time non advanced education (A level standard or less).

Collaborate Fri 04-Oct-13 20:00:08

Is he saying no to child maintenance after 18, or spouse maintenance?

STIDW has it spot on. CSA will deal with child maintenance. The court will deal with spouse maintenance. When the child approaches the end of their high school education they need to be thinking about applying to the court for maintenance to see them through higher education. Personally I think that a law that makes a child take one of their parents to court for financial support is a disgrace, and that the other parent should be able to bring an application to court on their behalf, but that's the law at the moment.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 22:12:17

"Personally I think that a law that makes a child take one of their parents to court for financial support is a disgrace, and that the other parent should be able to bring an application to court on their behalf"

So do you think that a father should be able to bring a mother to court on behalf of a 19yo, if the mother refuses to financially support the adult 19yo?

Collaborate Sat 05-Oct-13 00:23:08

I don't think a child should be faced with the choice of taking a parent to court it going without funding. It should be up to the resident parent to do that, be they mother or father. To take a parent to court would cause incalculable damage to the parent/child relationship.

allnewtaketwo Sat 05-Oct-13 06:49:59

What if neither parent is "resident". Can the child being both of them to court for money?

Collaborate Sat 05-Oct-13 08:33:25

Yes. The problem with the law at the moment is that it simply doesn't allow for a parent to bring an action on behalf of that child. I'm not advocating the removal of the right of the child to bring an action - merely the protection for kids who need it to go through a parent.

NandH Sat 05-Oct-13 11:18:24

To be honest I think he's got every right to stop paying child maintenance when the child is 18. Your studying and income isn't really of his concern.

No idea why you are getting spouse maintenance when you are no longer his spouse either :-/

I see no problem with his offer.

Joy5 Sat 05-Oct-13 12:19:38

NandH
I want nothing more then to be able to support myself, which is why i'm back at university in my late 40s! It will give me the qualification to apply for jobs earning 3 times what i am currently earning, but less then half what my ex is earning now.

I gave up a high paid job nearly ten years ago, to care for my termily ill Dad, i'd been part time since the birth of my eldest child as well, then my son suddenly died five years ago, i reduced my working hours to the minimim, as i was seriously depressed, struggling to cope. That was at my ex's suggestion too, unfortunately he left me 3 years later. My middle son especially has struggled with the death of his brother, more so since he became 'older' then his brother was when he died.

It is impossible to go from earning a small wage, to somehow earning enough to cover a mortgage and all the other household bills overnight, especially when like me, my family has been my main concern. I'm doing everything i can to be able to support my two younger sons, i just need support until i get there, i'm not being unreasonable to expect that, especially given our background.

prh47bridge Sat 05-Oct-13 12:33:58

NandH - Spousal maintenance is for ex-spouses.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sat 05-Oct-13 13:05:58

The OP obviously wants her ex to pay child and spousal maintenance until their youngest child is 21 (and finished Uni if they go). I think you're expecting a lot from your ex OP, sorry.

Not everyone will get spousal support when a marriage ends. It's depends on lots of things. You need legal advice to determine whether you would qualify.

Child maintenance is payable until, maximum, end of A levels if the son/daughter is under 20. He could voluntarily choose to help you or the child through University or be forced to by a court but that would have to be done when the child is due to go to University.

You need legal advice.

honey86 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:02:26

whats wrong with grown up kids (over18s) getting a job to support themselves and learning some independence?

i know a bloke in his mid 20s who still lives with mummy and relys on her to bail him out. i was homeless at 18, and had to do everything myself. no bank of mummy n daddy for me n never did me any harm.

honey86 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:17:31

sorry if that sounds arsey, i just thought it was part of growing up- going to school supported by parents the college/work/training then for the then-grown up kids to support themselves through whatever further choices they may make.

i dont get why the parents should be bickering in court over money neither should have to pay, unless that child is affected by a disability or something :/

Unexpected Sat 05-Oct-13 14:22:56

I think unfortunately your son may have to do what a lot of teens with both parents living together happily do but can't afford their child to go to university - take out maximum loans, work through university and maybe take a gap year at the beginning to earn some money. It's not ideal for your son to feel that his father could, but won't, support him but it doesn't mean that he can't finish his education.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 05-Oct-13 14:49:06

I actually cant see you being awarded spousal maintainance, you didnt give us a career for your husband but to care for your dad. You are currently working so have the means to self support even if not to previous standards.

No wonder your ex wants to go to court, its the only way he'll get a fair outcome.

babybarrister Sat 05-Oct-13 16:07:41

Happymummy - you are of course entitled to your views but as a matter of law the OP may indeed be entitled to spousal maintenance for a longer period. OP seriously the devil is in the detail and you need to get proper legal advice

NandH Sat 05-Oct-13 17:19:10

That's fair enough, but I do still think he's being very reasonable.

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 ....

Viviennemary Tue 08-Oct-13 19:59:10

I think it's quite reasonable of your ex to end maintenance at the age of 18. A student loan will be available to your DC. I think fair enough until the end of 'A' levels when that means past an eighteenth birthday. But six years further education. No, I think that should be by agreement and not compulsory.

iheartdusty Tue 08-Oct-13 20:07:14

To allnew, and other; just note that all the following things happened while the OP and her ex were married and still together:

- the OP went part time to care for their children

- she gave up her job to care for another family member (her father), and whether or not her exH agreed with that, it was a decision of the marriage and during the marriage;

- their child sadly died

- her ex suggested that she gave up work

- their other child was badly affected as well and needed extra care

- the family has been OP's main concern

Does it not seem to you that there will have been a consequential effect from all of this on the OP's ability to earn?

And does this not seem to you to have some bearing on why it may be morally as well as legally right that the financial consequences of these joint concerns and joint decisions are not visited exclusively on the OP?

Yet again, a woman take the caring role in a family, this affects her earnings and earning power, and some people expect her to shoulder all the financial consequences alone.

babybarrister Tue 08-Oct-13 20:59:00

The case of Miller in the House of Lorda in 2006 makes it absolutely clear that there are 3 elements to the consideration of maintenance - needs, sharing and compensation ....

That is the law!!!

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Oct-13 21:02:12

"And does this not seem to you to have some bearing on why it may be morally as well as legally right that the financial consequences of these joint concerns and joint decisions are not visited exclusively on the OP?"

Whilst there are children to care for yes, not adults

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Oct-13 21:35:11

And seemingly the OP has denied her ex access to their joint home despite him paying the mortgage. I really don't wonder why he has reached the end of his tether with the latest demands that he continues to pay for her despite the children becoming adults

misreadings Wed 09-Oct-13 10:37:58

Thankfully allnew what you think is completely irrelevant. The OP has come on to ask for legal advice, not for random lectures about the morality of her actions.

allnewtaketwo Wed 09-Oct-13 10:40:40

I offered my view, such is the tendency on public forums. The OP has previously disagreed with legal advice offered on this forum, from lawyers. Perhaps an appointment with a RL lawyer would be more appropriate.

Viviennemary Wed 09-Oct-13 10:48:24

I think in this case the Ex is doing absolutely the right thing in approaching the courts for their decision. And hope it will be a fair one.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 09-Oct-13 10:51:24

I have sort of been through this and I struggled to get spousal maintenance until my DCs went to primary school - let alone left uni!

I imagine the OP has been married longer than I was, given the older children, so it is possible that her solicitor could argue compensation for having given up work for so long, that re-training is necessary in order to earn.

However, there are other factors that need to be considered too. Presumably, the OPs ex could equally argue that a family home is no longer required, given that the children will be or are already legally adults and will be leaving shortly, so that there isn't a "need" for the OP to get a higher paid job to support a large mortgage, that is a desire, not a need.

It definitely needs a good solicitor to advise.

Rockchick1984 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:15:15

Joy how much equity is there in the property? Could you suggest that you sell the property and he can sign over enough equity for you to buy a small 2 bed house rather than paying you for the next 3 years - would mean you have this forever rather than it ceasing in a few years time?

Joy5 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:00:29

There isn't a lot of equity in the house, before my ex moved out i asked him for us to re-mortgage with the intention of us moving into a smaller house with obviously a smaller mortgage that i stood a chance of paying myself in the future.

After moving out, my ex cancelled the mortgage application, which is why we're left in a large house i can't afford to heat properly.

My youngest son is still at school, my middle son is 19 but has aspergers, and has had serious depression since his Dad moved out, including being suicidal.

It is almost certain they will still need a home in 3 years time. I will try my hardest with my new qualification, to obtain a job at a much higher salary then i'm currently earning, then hopefully i'll be able to re-mortgage in my own home.

As for the claim i've denied access to my ex, i've got legal action due to his violence towards me and my home last year to keep him away, and no he can't just walk into my home when ever he chooses. He pays the mortgage as maintenance, it doesn't give any rights to use our home.

I'm not asking for my ex to support our two younger sons as adults either, i've never said that. I've asked him to carry on supporting us until my youngest son reaches 21 and he finishes his education. He will be a full time student, not an adult.

Thanks for everyones support above.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 09-Oct-13 12:09:34

Joy, as far as I know you should be able to successfully argue for maintenance for your son until he finishes full time education. You may also be able to argue for some on going support for your DS with ASD.

What I think you will struggle with is the request for spousal maintenance. Financial settlements are not about morality (if only there were for some of us) they are about the finances that are available and the legal precedent or guidance that you can use to support your requests.

I think your argument for spousal maintenance could be a tough one & you need good legal advice fairly urgently. If a solicitor doesn't think the judge will award you spousal maintenance, then it may well be more cost effective to accept your ex-H's current offer.

prh47bridge Wed 09-Oct-13 12:44:55

you should be able to successfully argue for maintenance for your son until he finishes full time education

No the OP will not be able to argue for this. The courts do not have jurisdiction over child maintenance. They can include child maintenance in a consent order (i.e. where both parties agree) but if the parents cannot agree the case must go to the CSA/CMS. Even if there is a consent order either parent can go to the CSA/CMS after 12 months and the consent order would cease to have any effect. CSA/CMS maintenance applies until the child finishes A levels or equivalent. If the child goes to higher education they have to apply for maintenance themselves through the courts.

For spousal maintenance the best advice will come from the OP's solicitor who should be in possession of all the facts and understands the relevant law.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 09-Oct-13 12:56:55

You are right of course prh47bridge, a consent order would only be non-contestable for a year. Legal advice is definitely required.

Joy5 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:57:49

I've been told i have a strong case for spousal maintenance due to my very low income and my ex's high one, and thats for a long time to come.

By asking for maintenance until my youngest son is leaving HE i'm actually stopping it early.

Its just the child maintenace after 18 my ex is arguing about and a large loan.

I've been told in the last hour my ex is filing for court, so least i know for sure what is happening now.

allnewtaketwo Wed 09-Oct-13 13:05:45

"By asking for maintenance until my youngest son is leaving HE i'm actually stopping it early"

What do you mean early? Earlier than what?

prh47bridge Wed 09-Oct-13 13:34:06

Spousal maintenance can be for a fixed period or until one of the parties dies. Unless there is evidence that the OP would become self sufficient the courts may award spousal maintenance for life. If the courts would award the OP spousal maintenance for life (or, indeed, for any period longer than 6 years) agreeing to stop when her youngest is finishing higher education would indeed be stopping it early.

Collaborate Wed 09-Oct-13 13:48:43

If the only issue between you is the duration of child maintenance, then for the reasons given by prh you might as well settle. ~Agreeing to a CM order until age 18 doesn't mean you are prevented from applying back to court to extend the duration, though the CSA can always take over an arrangement or order until the child leaves secondary education.

Joy5 Wed 09-Oct-13 18:46:08

The only issue isn't just child maintenance, it includes a very large loan, my ex wants to transfer half of it over to me.

I just don't have the money to pay the loan. It would take my ex less then a year to earn the amount of the loan, it would take me over five years to earn that amount.

If i agree to his latest offer, i'd be responsible for a very large loan i can't afford to pay, i'd be looking at bankruptcy, my credit rating is very bad at the moment, i need to improve it to stand a chance of being to mortgage in my own name, once i've completed my university course and then found a job at the new grade.

As suggested above, i don't want to 'squabble' in court or have this lasting any longer, but my ex hasn't offered anything thats finanancially viable. I think i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, if i accept his current offer i'll be declared bankrupt, by going to court i'll have to represent myelf. My ex will presumably be able to carry on paying legal fees. I don't feel very confident about my chances in court right now.

Much as i'd like a clean break now, if i can't afford to pay the household bills completely on my own, i can't manage without some help from my ex. I've gone to university just so i can apply for better qualified jobs in two years.

I've spoken to my solicitor this afternoon, shes told me not to make any decisions until i actually receive the court papers in a few days. She thinks hopefully a decision will be reached before a court date, and that it will be fair. Leaving us homeless in 3 years is hardly fair, despite what has been posted above.

allnewtaketwo Wed 09-Oct-13 19:03:46

Joy5 by loan do you mean mortgage?

If you have a better qualified job in 2 years why would you be homeless in 3 years?

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 09-Oct-13 20:04:51

I think you are asking way too much. You want the house, child maintainence, spousal support and to not pay any joint debts! No wonder he wants to go to court. What does he get?

Theres no guarantee after studying you will get a better job, your children dont sound young so no reason not to work more hours or move house.

Joy5 Wed 09-Oct-13 20:07:44

The loan is in addition to the mortgage.

I will have obtained a qualification to apply for a much better paid job in two years time. Until i start applying i don't know how long it will take to be successful in applying for jobs, then i need to obtain a mortgage.

My ex wants to stop paying the mortgage in 3 years time, i can't rent due to my bad credit rating (hoping i'll have sorted that out by the time i need to re mortgage), tried several times and i fail the credit check. I've tried to re mortgage but don't currently earn enough to buy even an ex council house where i live. Thats why i'm asking for maintenance until my youngest leaves f/t education, it gives me time to find a new job, and to re mortgage well before mantenance ends.

allnewtaketwo Wed 09-Oct-13 21:08:23

I really dont think its you exes responsibility to ensure you can get a mortgage in 3 years time, when the children are adults. Most people who can't get a mortgage rent instead.

misreadings Wed 09-Oct-13 21:52:58

Joy - I wouldn't bother answering these responses and please, listen just to the qualified lawyers on here and to your solicitor.

I cannot believe what miserable mean attitudes underpin these attitudes above. The aim of the law is to leave both parties in an equal position after divorce, and if one of the parties has a very high paying job and good earning prospects for the future, whilst the other doesn't, there will be an expectation of levelling that out. The person with the high paying job is in that position often completely thanks to the fact that the other person in the marriage did the non-paying work. Why should they be left near to bankruptcy at the end of the marriage, whether their children are grown or not?

This thread is almost enough to stop any SAHMs ever seeking legal advice on MN, should they ever dare to think that the marriage was a partnership of equals whether they brought home the bacon or brought up the children. I hate to break it to some of you, but some spouses receive maintenance for life. Some spouses receive 70% or even 80% of the assets even when their partner paid for most of it. Shocking, isn't it?

Joy5 Wed 09-Oct-13 22:25:37

Thanks misreadings, helps a lot to get a realistic response. Been told i stand a good chance of spousal maintenance for life, but once i'm qualified in 2 years time, i'll do my best to apply for a new job and to re mortgage myself. Then i'll take great pleasure in telling my ex he can keep his 40k+ salary, and i hope it brings him much happiness! Thats why i've only asked for maintenace until my youngest leaves ft education, rather then for longer.

'Most people who can't get a mortgage rent instead', i've explained several time above, i've tried to rent and got turned down on my credit rating. Its so bad simply because my ex defaulted on my share of the loan last year, he now pays his share of the loan, and a payment to a debt management company for my share of the loan. If i could rent i would, i'd get my rent paid by housing benefit, and maintenance would be paid direct to me rather then the building society, i'd be hundreds of pounds better off each month. A position i would love to be in, unfortunately its not an option.

WithConfidence Wed 09-Oct-13 22:38:39

Joy I don't have any legal advice, I just wanted to say sorry for your loss and that it sounds like you are doing a good job trying to look after and plan for your children.

While i understand your predicament, does your H only earn 40kish? How can he support two households and pay your mortgage on that?

Was the loan beneficial to both of you? If so, you should be repaying half of it.

I take it you are in a university town, can you rent out an extra room to a student to help pay your bills/debts?

I see you are trying to get yourself in a better financial position, full credit to you, but i think you are pushing too much financial responsibility on to your H and expecting for the status quo in living to remain at his expense. This isn't practical. However it turns out, I wish you luck

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Oct-13 06:54:24

I think the OP has wildly unrealistic expectations about how far her exes 40k+ salary will stretch. He's paying her whole mortgage, paying off a loan they BOTH decided to take out, despite the OP not working ( why on earth would someone without a job sign a credit agreement on top of a large mortgage when they have no equity?). He's also now being expected to pay child maintenance for an adult and spousal maintenance. OP regardless of the outcome of the court case I think you really need to educate yourself financially. One salary can only go so far. You were advised last year to take in a lodger but clearly think you shouldn't. Your ex clearly can't afford the mortgage as he has defaulted several times. Despite him wanting to sell when your youngest turns 18, you have no interest in doing this, despite a lot of people having advised you that this is the norm. It's really sounding like you're determined to dig your heels in and punish him.

Khaleese Thu 10-Oct-13 07:20:10

OP I don't think you can expect him to pay for it all. 40k is not a lot of money at all.

I think you should get spousal support from him ( maybe for life) and child support until 18.

Sadly I think your on your own after that. it's not his concern how you pay your rent\mortgage after that.

The loans ( mortgage + loan) were taken out jointly, you knew the risks. You still have to pay your share. You need to set up payment plans for these. ( £1 a month if neccessary)

Sorry for you, it's a shitty situation.

STIDW Fri 11-Oct-13 17:37:56

I agree, the probability of the courts ordering someone to pay SM is low when the payer is on an income of £40k, they have their own living costs to meet and there are debts to pay. SM doesn't depend just on the needs of one party, but the amount of disposable income and the ability to pay of the other.

However every case is treated individually depending on the particular facts. It isn't at all outside the realms of possibility for the courts to grant SM when the payer's income is less than £40k. The only binding opinion is that of a judge at a final hearing. I've certainly seen cases where people have been badly advised on the internet by barrack room lawyers that they stand no chance of SM when the outcome has been the court has disagreed and awarded SM.

I'm not a lawyer, but the best person to advise about probabilities of a successful SM application is a solicitor who hasn't only studied law but also done years of training and then completes further training year in, year out, and works with the local courts on a day-to-day basis.

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