Global maintenance reduction - advice please(10 Posts)
Grateful for some mumsnet advice please...
Divorced for ten years, youngest dc is 18 and finishes independent school in June. I received the house, lump sum and monthly maintenance.
In the last ten years, how has divorce law changed? ExH has said that he will apply for no further payments after June. He has a new wife and four young children. Do I stand any chance of continuing payments or is this the end and therefore I should agree out of court to save costs?
Happy new year!
Maintenance is usually till your youngest child is out of school unless you have spousal maintenance.
Maintenance stops when the youngest is 18 and no longer in compulsory education. Anything after that is a bonus.
CM to you cuts off at 18, or end of year 13 (depending on what DC is doing). He could opt to continue to pay directly to DC once they are adult, much as any parent might support their adult children.
Or was something else was specifically agreed on in your settlement?
Our DSD is 18 and I'm her final year of A-levels. We will stop paying maintenance when she goes to uni but will give her the money directly to help support her there.
Maintenance payments usually stop at 18 as he can support your child how he wishes after 18. That is unless a court has ruled something very specific.
You need to see a solicitor. You may have the type of order (like my DP and his ex have) where spousal and child maintenance are combined. In his case, payments won't stop when children reach 18 (or end full time education). Heis obliged to support his ex for life. He can apply to the court to review it and will probably do so well in advance of the children finishing school so that his ex has many years notice.
Sorry, posted too soon. What I really wanted to say is don't take as a truth anything anyone says who's
A) not a qualified lawyer and
b) read the documentation
I agree you need independent legal advice about where you stand and what options there are in your particular circumstances rather than rely on internet posts. There are few certainties in family law, just probabilities. That is particularly true when it come to spouse maintenance. If a variation is appropriate it is cheaper to negotiate or mediate a settlement from an informed position outside of court.
For those who have misunderstood a court order for global maintenance is an order for child maintenance and spouse maintenance given as a global figure. If child maintenance increases or decreases the amount of spouse maintenance may automatically vary so the global amount remains the same. A global order could end after a few years to allow for a dependent spouse to readjust, when a child reaches 18 or finishes university or it can be for joint lives if no term can be identified when the recipient can be expected to become self sufficient. Either party can apply for a variation to the amount or term (when extending the term isn't barred) if circumstances change.
It isn't uncommon for a variation application to be issued when the youngest child reaches maturity. The court will look at the financial position of both parties afresh - the loss of Child Benefit, whether or not the global amount was a fixed figure or increased with inflation, any increases in your income through work, if you don't work why you haven't used any potential to work, any increases in your former husband's income or promotions, the financial contributions his new wife makes or should be making to their household's expenditure etc. Although having a new family and 4 children is an obligation taken into account in the s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 it is only one factor and there are others. Sometimes an application to reduce spouse maintenance results in an increase in the amount paid.
You need to read the court order very carefully. Ours says I support all 5 children not just in terms of paying their private school fees but also at university.
Also in England, not Scotland, a non resident parent can be required by court order to help support the child at university (but not non divorced parents!). The child brings the action.
Thirdly many non working ex spouses are entitled to payments for them as well as the children. One barrister's ex wife where they divorce 20 or 30 years ago and he had been married to someone else for 20 years was able to get a lump sum of over £700k last year to buy off future maintenance payments to her - they had not had a clean break settlement on divorce. We have a clean break settlement as my ex husband wanted maintenance for life plus half our assets so instead the court order says more than 50% but no on going maintenance . So your devil will be in the detail of exactly what the court order says.
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