spousal support

(20 Posts)
FlounderingWildly Tue 17-May-16 09:35:08

Jumping the gun a bit here but trying to amass as much information and advice as possible. We are going to start marriage counselling soon. I'm pretty sure I want out of the relationship at the moment. If I were to divorce I'm a little confused about spousal support and how it is worked out. I have been with him for 18 years, we have 2 dc aged 8 and 4. We have only actually been married for just under 2 years. If I were to be granted spousal support do they only base it on the time you have been married or would they bring other circumstances into the judgment (like being together 16 years before marriage and having 2 kids who are obviously older than the marriage?).
And is there any particular % you get for spousal support. I have seen the online calculator for child maintenance but this is much harder to get information on.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 17-May-16 09:40:15

Admittedly I divorced a few years ago, but I was warned that courts are very reluctant to award spousal maintenance and push for a clean break. It may mean that you get a higher percentage of any equity or something along those lines, but women are expected to get a job and support themselves.

That was three years ago.

FlounderingWildly Tue 17-May-16 09:45:53

I currently work freelance (bit complicated as currently abroad but we are both english, divorce would be through english courts, he is ok with kids coming back home). I can bring this freelance work back to UK with me but would also need to (quite happily) get a job as freelance is small. Where we currently live childcare is v odd (finshes at 4-4.30 ubless you have a nanny) and my H is away random days most weeks and works v long hours hence me not working outside the home at the mo. I did when we were in the UK though.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 17-May-16 09:46:52

Spousal support is not clear cut at all. You can put in a claim, but there will be other factors considered. Your age, the length of your marriage, your health, your income or potential income and your husband's income and financial needs. It isn't awarded as regularly as it was in the past. TBH I would assume it isn't going to happen if you are young and healthy.

FlounderingWildly Tue 17-May-16 10:09:29

Thanks for this. In that case maybe pushing for a higher amount overall due to being financially disadvantaged via the circumstances but not pursuing this support is the way to go. I have no idea if it will come to this in the end but forewarned is forearmed.
Its all a bit terrifying at the moment.

millymollymoomoo Tue 17-May-16 13:34:17

Unfortunately no one here will be able to tell you if you would be awarded or whether spousal will be paid.
General assumptions are where possible the courts would look for clean break, particularly where spouses are 'young' and can become independent of each other. Spousal is often awarded for an interim period of time to allow (typically the wife) to go back to work, or restablish herself. However, there are cases of lifetime spousal maintenance
What you would be awarded will depend on

Length of marriage (but also likely to give consideration to length of relationship prior to that)
ages of children
ages of spouses
current and future potential earnings of both spouses
any financial disadvantage such as child caring - this is seen as equal contribuition to the marriage just as earning money.

Where possible, clean break will be awarded, often with one party receiving higher share of current assets (think 60:40 or 70;30) but the needs and welfare of the children will take priority in determining split

millymollymoomoo Tue 17-May-16 13:41:59

Unfortunately no one here will be able to tell you if you would be awarded or whether spousal will be paid.
General assumptions are where possible the courts would look for clean break, particularly where spouses are 'young' and can become independent of each other. Spousal is often awarded for an interim period of time to allow (typically the wife) to go back to work, or restablish herself. However, there are cases of lifetime spousal maintenance
What you would be awarded will depend on

Length of marriage (but also likely to give consideration to length of relationship prior to that)
ages of children
ages of spouses
current and future potential earnings of both spouses
any financial disadvantage such as child caring - this is seen as equal contribuition to the marriage just as earning money.

Where possible, clean break will be awarded, often with one party receiving higher share of current assets (think 60:40 or 70;30) but the needs and welfare of the children will take priority in determining split

mummylib Thu 19-May-16 19:56:47

Spousal support was not awarded to me after 10 years and two children (4 and 2) and I was told courts rarely award it and that all maintenance is to be dealt with by the child maintenance service..

AgeOfEarthquakes Thu 19-May-16 20:11:39

I was married for 10 years (together for 15) and I do get spousal support. It does depend on a lot of factors but I can tell you my experience if it will help. I studied for a long time and had a decent career. When DCs were born, ex and I made a mutual and explicit decision that his career would be the priority and that I would stop work to look after kids. Ex subsequently became a high earner. In the time I took off to look after children, my field moved on considerably meaning that I would have either needed pretty extensive retraining or would have to take a much lower paid position (I chose the latter). So I was at a financial disadvantage as a result of our joint decisions during the marriage while he was advantaged, if that makes sense?

My spousal support is calculated separate from child maintenance and the agreement was that the spousal support would decrease once our youngest child started school to reflect the cut in childcare costs and the added time I would have to devote to building up my career. I will retain a nominal spousal maintenance order, however.

lifeisunjust Thu 19-May-16 21:09:46

Married 20 years, 4 children 19 to 10. Not awarded spousal support.
Earned 30% of family income.
Didn't even think to demand it. I have just gone from 1 job to 3 jobs and very proud I don't need that monster's money any more and that some other mug is now landed with a man who thinks he is a woman and all the awful behaviour which goes with it.

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 19-May-16 21:18:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whomovedmycupcake Thu 19-May-16 22:39:57

Why do you say 'possibly afterwards' whats? My divorce is all pretty set in stone so I'm curious.

whattodoforthebest2 Fri 20-May-16 13:04:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgeOfEarthquakes Fri 20-May-16 13:14:58

whattodo that's why I will retain a nominal spousal maintenance order even after youngest is at school. A nominal order leaves the door open for renegotiation at a later date. This is not possible if maintenance is stopped completely.

Whomovedmycupcake Fri 20-May-16 14:50:03

My exH is a high earner but I didn't dream of asking for spousal maintenance after the DC's reached 18. Can your exH take you back to court and potentially argue this whattodo? Why would you need (want) to take any more money after this time??

age you can leave the door open but remember if your ex starts a new family the courts will take this into consideration so even though the door is open you won't necessarily be any better off.

whattodoforthebest2 Fri 20-May-16 15:24:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whomovedmycupcake Fri 20-May-16 16:06:41

Sorry whattodo I probably came across harsher than I meant.

I have daughters so its important to me that they do not see me having to rely on a man. I also don't particularly buy into the whole 'if it wasn't for him I would have had a glittering career'. Many successful women have managed to make ends meet despite bringing up a family so there is no reason why you should have to feel as though you are owed a living from your exH. I find a lot of friends hold their exH's accountable for certain choices when it suits them. You giving up your career must have been a joint decision after all?

I will not receive a spousal maintenance when my girls get to 18 but i have put things in place so I wouldn't need it anyway.

babybarrister Fri 20-May-16 18:26:56

more important I am afraid is where you get divorced - if you are both living in a Brussels II Revised member state ie anywhere in the EU save for Denmark, then it is first come, first served - what this means is that if your H takes good advice and discovers he is going to do much better say in Spain, he can issue there first and THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

If however you are both living in a non BIIR country, then whilst he might be able to bring divorce proceedings in that country, you MAY still be able to argue that England is best placed to hear the case

You urgently need very specialist legal advice or you run the risk of receiving very little indeed ....

Fell free to PM me and tell me where you are living and I will recommend someone. Remember that if it is another BIIR member state that you need to issue here immediately

whattodoforthebest2 Sat 21-May-16 06:30:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whomovedmycupcake Sat 21-May-16 07:10:47

I too am a divorced woman with children so have had my fair share of being a SAHM. I don't think you can tell me that I am doing a disservice to women at all. If you look up thread at what life said she also was pleased to be rid of her ex and didn't think she was owed a living forever. I am simply saying that its good (and healthy) to at some point break off from a financial connection to your ex.

My views on marriage have changed but i wouldn't advise my children not to do it. I wouldnt pass on to my girls that because it all didn't go my way in my marriage that the same will happen to them. I can teach them to stand on their own two feet so that maybe one day they don't go into marriage thinking its just some big romantic notion of 'partnership, sharing goals and planning a future'. As we know its full of complications, financial hardships and sometimes heartbreak.

My point was it seems excessive to receive money from an ex after the children reach a certain age.

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