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Spousal Support query please?

(25 Posts)
Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 11:31:20

Can a new partner's income/divorce settlement be used in the calculation for spousal support?
They are not cohabiting

Back ground : STB ex wife requires SM for life as not worked for 26 years. Been bringing children up who are all now grown up - a 14 and 17 year old left at home. STB ex H doesn't earn much and household lost WTC when he left. So living on CTC's, child benefit, CM from soon to be Ex. He was paying more money but now claims he cannot afford too as he has been doing this for over 2 years and he has run out of money.
He has a partner currently going through divorce who has a professional well paid job. Whilst not officially living together he spends a fair bit of time there and his DC have spent time there too.
Is there a legal case to say he didn't need to pay rent and bills and that money could be used to pay SM?

GoosevonMoose Sat 11-Feb-17 12:10:34

If they were living together you'd have a case as it's done on need but as he maintains his own place it will have zero bearing, I'm afraid.

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 12:36:39

Thank you
What if he maintains his own place/bills but spends most of his time there - seen cutting her lawn and even picking her kids up from school?

Would evidence of this be needed ?

Thank you

lizzyj4 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:42:41

Personally, I don't get this requiring SM for life - why can she not retrain and/or get a job? Maybe if the husband was on a good income, I could understand it, but if they were claiming WTC before they split the exh clearly wasn't on a high income so how is he now supposed to support another adult for his whole life?

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 12:57:03

I get you lizzyj4.
But not having worked for 26 years and only on a low paid job before that doesn't make for an employable person....

lizzyj4 Sat 11-Feb-17 13:44:33

I can understand a lack of confidence and appreciate that divorce is a massive blow after a long-term marriage (I'm in my mid 50s recently divorced after 24 years, one child still under 16, a disabled adult child to support, no CM). However 26 years as a SAHP means 26 years of running a household and managing a family, she has plenty of experience and skills and just needs someone to help her frame it in a way that makes sense to employers. And perhaps help with building her confidence.

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 14:21:41

I couldn't agree more!
But she has absolutely no intention of working!
Believe me I've tried - sorting out prospective training courses, spent hours on her cv, helped look fur jobs - even found her one as an exams invigilator at the school opposite her house. Working just will never happen for her
The situation is that they are friends of our and DH and I are trying to keep the middle ground

I am trying to persuade her not to go down the latest route of claiming off his new partner. They genuinely do not live together!!

She has a legitimate reason for SM and her solicitor and barrister have told her there is no reason she won't get it for life. Her ex DH does not earn a lot but has assets that are worth a lot that form his inherited business. She will get more than enough out of this and her ex DH is paying cm over the minimum set by the csa

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 14:24:47

I also know that the DH is living off a personal and business overdraft due to the expense of 2 households. Until recently he paid all bills, Cm and then money for Sm (total £1500 a month)

KarmaNoMore Sat 11-Feb-17 14:34:43

She will only get SM if the exH is able to afford it. Unlikely for her to get anything if they were doing badly enough to get TC before the split.

The situation with the new partner can affect the division of the assets but there is no way her income will be considered to pay SM to the ex wife. Sorry.

If he keeps his own place it is practically impossible to claim he is cohabitating, proving that would cost her a lot of money she doesn't have.

I'm afraid her only hope is to start trying to get a job as quickly as possible (any job!) so she can get tax credits to help support her kids and hopefully to be able to support herself once the kids 16-18 and the CM and other financial support comes to an end.

KarmaNoMore Sat 11-Feb-17 14:37:17

Also tell her to get a new solicitor, if they really think she has a chance of getting spousal maintenance from a poor sod in a low salary, they are either money grabbing or too tactful for your friend to realise she is fighting a lost battle.

lizzyj4 Sat 11-Feb-17 15:12:29

It sounds as if you have done a lot to try to help her. What a difficult situation. She needs to adjust her expectations, but I'm not sure how you can make her see that if she's so set on never working. My understanding is that spousal maintenance is hardly ever awarded for more than a couple of years these days, courts much prefer clean breaks (although I am in Scotland, it may be easier to get SM in other parts of the UK). So she's either going to be very poor for the rest of her life or have to come round to the idea of getting a job.

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 15:15:09

Thank you for your valued input!
This is dragging all the way to court at the moment and is a toxic situation. I want for both of them to get a fair split and move on...

He is cash poor but has inherited business assets of 1 million in land so will have to sell to give her a fair share but how he will afford SM on top I really don't know as he won't immediately have an income as business assets sold... he will of course get another job but at 49 and only ever working fur yourself it won't be easy!

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 15:18:58

I know about the job - it's not just the money it is the self esteem and new friends/life she would get.

She really sees it as the worst option. I always assumed enough was earned so she didn't have to work and it is only in helping her out with her finances post seiedation I saw they got bulk of monthly money through WTC and CTC. She now only gets CTC for 2 as the other 2 are at uni/work. She pulls out every reason why she can't get a job but it would really be the making of her. I do understand how scary it all is for her though!

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 15:21:40

Karma - she now has a barrister pays for by her parents and it is on her advice that she is wanting to claim on her ex DH 's new partner!

I actually know her and have done for years - defiantly no cohabitating!!! It will just make the situation more toxic and the kids get stuck in the middle!

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 15:22:05

Know the new partner I should say !

GoosevonMoose Sat 11-Feb-17 16:21:48

The solicitor is a crook if the advice has been that the new partner will have any bearing whatsoever. She has older children to top it all off. An order for indefinite of SM otherwise known as joint lives is given in the case where there are very young children or there is an obvious reason the wife cannot work. SM comes from income and it doesn't matter where he spends his time so long as he maintains his place. She would be far more sensible to go after a larger share of the assets and a clean break. In fact that might be the solicitors strategy and really the SM is a red herring. It's all rather distasteful though.

Sonnet Sat 11-Feb-17 16:32:13

Thank you ! Distasteful is putting it mildly.
I am suppose to be seeing her on Monday so will ask her to reconsider involving his new partner.

I have wondered about this solicitor before - very aggressive. I got her to the point of considering a training course but then she says her solicitor told her not too as it will reduce her case for SM!

Her ex DH meanwhile can't pay his bills and needs to sell his land hence no income in the future so he's worrying about another job...

So hard seeing it from both sides

Really appreciate all your comments as can't talk to anyone in real life

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-Feb-17 17:25:46

Can I suggest you distance yourself from all the legal stuff? It sounds quite complicated. They both have lawyers, let them slug it out if they must.

KarmaNoMore Sat 11-Feb-17 17:38:01

Maintenance is calculated on income not assets so she doesn't get a better chance of maintenance even with those assets.

Her best bet is to try to get the biggest percentage of the assets so she can kick start her life with that. And being in such a dreadful position (26 years away of work and possibly her age certainly puts her in a good place to get more than the 50/50 departing point)

It is completely normal that she is petrified about the idea of working after so many years, but she is condemning herself to a life of poverty, she really needs to get back on her feet again otherwise she will struggle big time after the younger leaves compulsory education).

user1497582089 Fri 16-Jun-17 04:41:38

I completed divorce last year. Ex wife wanted Joint Lives Spousal Maintenance, ie for life, at 4,500 pounds per month. A lot more than what I earned. Judge binned the application on the grounds that SM was awarded based on needs only and whether the paying partner could actually afford it based on their income and needs.

Joint lives SM is very rare and discouraged by the Courts as many ex partners see it as a Lifetime Pension to avoid working. If there are young children it may be awarded for 3 to 5 years maximum. But don't expect huge number. My ex-wife received 400/month for 2 years. A lot less than the expected 4,500/month for life. Judge's logic was simple. She is a young woman in good health who was already working.

Ex-wife attempted to argue she had a chronic back problem for many years, but showing the Judge her Gym Membership subscriptions soon squashed that lie.

Correct approach is for applicant (usually the wife) to list all of her income from; earning, Tax Credits, Child Benefit and Child Maintenance to give a monthly total. Then a budget of essential outgoings is produced. If the essential outgoings exceed the income the shortfall is meant to be covered by SM. However, the paying partner's needs and income will be taken into account too. If the paying partner is unable to afford the estimated SM then the receiving partner will have to adjust their lifestyle accordingly.

Key point to remember is that SM is based on needs only.

babybarrister Fri 16-Jun-17 08:26:27

It is complicated so no one on here can give any comments which would be pertinent to the particular circumstances of this case....

katronfon Fri 16-Jun-17 09:41:34

Friend sounds like she has a very poor moral compass IMO. She has no intention of working and believes ex should support her forever. WTF. Moreover, that isn't enough for her - she thinks some other woman who has worked hard to forge a career should also support her. WTF again (even if ex and new partner were married, and even more so as they aren't)

Friend needs to get off backside and make the rest of her life work for herself. It is not ex's job, his partner's job, nor IMO the state's job if she's refusing to even try and fend for herself and her DCs.

BTW I'm coming at this from the position of someone who's circumstances were similar, although I was a few years younger. The first thing I did was retrain. It was good for me in both monetary terms and self esteem terms, and it was a good example to DCs. I'm afraid I think friend is lazy and entitled. If it's hard to tell, this kind of attitude makes me really cross!

Sonnet Tue 20-Jun-17 13:56:28

just come across these updates.

i did stand back based on a post above and because it all just seemed so wrong to me.

It will be going to a 3rd court hearing soon so guess the Judge will decide smile

Hermonie2016 Tue 20-Jun-17 14:46:40

Do you know if she they received directives from the FDR? It's foolish if they ignored these as final hearing will just impose a solution.

Sometimes the finances are used to punish the leaving spouse (and new partner) rather than actual need.Counselling may have helped her to come to terms with how her life is going to change.

Sonnet Wed 21-Jun-17 21:27:34

I'm not sure Hermonie as I've tried to say out of it.

I think you've hit the nail on the head about punishment unfortunately!
I have encouraged counselling and I believe she may have started. What I do know though is she is dreading it all being over...
very sad for her

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