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Spousal Maintenance

(155 Posts)
NeedsAdvice2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:19:03

Apologies in advance, but this is going to be a long one.

donajimena Fri 17-Mar-17 20:19:45

Looks pretty short to me grin

NeedsAdvice2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:20:04

Hello, my STBXH is telling me that my expectations for spousal maintenance are completely unrealistic, but I honestly am just sick of him being unreasonable, so I was hoping someone could confirm that what I am asking makes sense and/or provide some advice.

So some basics:
-I am 35 and he is 38
-Married 10 years with a five year old son
-I will have my son 67 percent of the time and he will have him 33 percent
-Separated in Sept - he petitioned last month (Feb) based on my unreasonable behavior (beat me to the punch and his reasons are BS, but no point fighting as I want the divorce, too)
-Going through mediation now

As for our finances:
-We don't own a home; we rent in London
-In terms of assets, we don't have much to split up, as when you factor in debts, it basically evens out what we have in our bank accounts - we have maybe 45k combined between our separate banks accounts (he's got like 33k and I've got maybe 12k), but an equal amount in debts that were accrued during the marriage for our joint benefit (I do accept that), but are in his name only
-We have small pensions not even worth mentioning as we only started saving a few years ago
-He earns a high salary, but that's a kind of a recent thing - he is on 143k a year plus a 35 percent bonus on top of that, so obviously a high salary. This time last year, though he was on 98k with a 30 percent bonus, so it's gone up quite a lot
-I earn 51k a year with an 8 percent bonus, so he obviously earns much more than me and can clearly afford to pay spousal maintenance
-We both work permanent, full time jobs and our jobs are very secure in fields that are in demand, so I don't worry about either of our ability to stay gainfully employed
-He was offered a restricted stock award in January of this year (a few months after we separated) that would be worth like 80k after taxes now at the stock price today, but he won't get it until December 2019 and the stock is unvested until then. He argues that because the company offered it to him as a retention mechanism based on achieving some goals in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (years in which we will have not been together at all as a couple) and because it was offered in Jan (after we were separated) that it hasn't been earned yet and isn't a matrimonial asset even if it was - he called it a future income stream. He has showed me the online account, and it does list current value as zero. He has submitted everything to the mediator, and there is a provision that he will forfeit the stock if he is not employed by the company on the vesting date in Dec 2019 (even if they eliminate his role for no reason), and the paperwork does speak to performance over those years. Anyway, I don't really care about the provisions. The bottom line is that we were married when he was offered it, even if we were separated, so I think the 80k should be considered when we divide assets and I should get at least half of the shares if not more. He disagrees.

We don't own any cars or anything like that, so there really isn't much to divide up. I am going to need money over the next few years to buy a car and for a downpayment to buy a house or a flat, and I think that he should be helping with all of that.

He has offered me 1,200 a month in child maintenance, which seems fine. I would like another 1,250 a month in spousal maintenance and for him to pay another 650 a month for child care costs (after school pickups and a couple hours of child minding) - our son is in primary school. That feels very reasonable to me. I would like both the child and spousal maintenance until our son is 21 (assuming he's in uni), or 18 if he doesn't go to uni, and the child care costs for as long as he needs it.

My ex is being totally unreasonable and believes that we should have a clean break, which I think is ludicrous. He actually offered me 20k from his bank account now, and that he would take our debts completely, and that he would give me half of the stock award that I mentioned above assuming that it vests, so in theory that would be another 40k in three years, but then that's it! No spousal maintenance, other than he said he would agree to nominal maintenance until our son is 18, which, again, I think is ridiculous. I obviously turned him down. He earns so much more than me that it seems unfair that my lifestyle should be negatively impacted when he can clearly afford to pay.

At this point, I feel like I will have no choice but to let the matter go to court, but I am very curious what people think. Should I be asking for more given that we don't have much by way of assets now? Is it even worth continuing to mediate with him being so unreasonable? I welcome all thoughts. Thank you.

NeedsAdvice2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:20:38

Ha, sorry, accidentally submitted smile

NeedsAdvice2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:20:38

Ha, sorry, accidentally submitted smile

awishes Fri 17-Mar-17 20:30:39

You would be very unlikely to get awarded spousal maintenance by the courts. They prefer a clean break, excepting child maintenance of course.
Can you afford to buy somewhere for yourself and your son?

unicornpoopoop Fri 17-Mar-17 20:30:41

So you're divorcing him but still want him to fund you? I don't know much about things things but surely if you both after 10 years have no assets and have lots of debt. £40 000 plus continuing child support seems like a great offer

SookiesSocks Fri 17-Mar-17 20:33:23

You earn a decent wage yourself. Why do you need SM?

Sorry but I think you dound very very greedy.

NeedsAdvice2017 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:35:44

Hi, I know that my wage is good, so I totally get that, but I think it's about lifestyle. 55k is a good salary, but he earns so much more than I do and can clearly afford to pay SM. I will definitely have to scale things back and live a bit more modestly, which doesn't seem right after 10 years of marriage with him earning so much now.

SookiesSocks Fri 17-Mar-17 20:38:10

But you are divorcing. Its mutual. Your life changes.
You only had that lifestyle because you were married to him. Now your not so you change back to financing your own lifestyle.

CrochetBelle Fri 17-Mar-17 20:39:12

You earn 51k a year and expect him to top this up by 3k a month?

Why do you think you are owed spousal maintenence? It doesn't seem that your marriage to him caused you to suffer with either employment or reduced earning potential?

SookiesSocks Fri 17-Mar-17 20:39:26

How would you feel if he was the one sponging off you for the next 16 years hmm

Joffmognum Fri 17-Mar-17 20:42:36

I really think your ex is being reasonable - obviously it's fair that he gives you a little, but 1250 for the next decade and a half on top of a lump sum/ the stock seems excessive.

Spousal maintainance is for the spouses who can't earn as much after the marriage because they spent such a large chunk out of work childrearing for the benefit of both of them. This doesn't seem to have happened here if you're earning 51k on an apparently great career path.

I don't know exactly how much you'll get through the courts, but there are a few things to account for. Is your stbxh earning more because he got a good degree/career path before you were married, or during? Is his good job due to you supporting him in significant ways (like funding him through uni or being a SAHM), or is it on his own merit?

Either way I think his offer seems fairer than yours. You have every right to ask for as much as you know you deserve, but 16 years of £1250×12 months spousal maintainance is about a quarter of a million pounds. It's a fuckton and I wouldn't expect a judge to agree to it.

brokenboobs Fri 17-Mar-17 20:43:10

You'll never get that much SM not in a month of Sunday's. You might get another couple hundred on top of the CM. I'd aim at £1500 all in but don't rely on it. The moment he ends up with a new partner you can bet he goes freelance and you get the government calculated CM. In fact if you push for something unreasonable now you may find he does it sooner.

Salemthecat Fri 17-Mar-17 20:43:48

You are not going to be awarded spousal maintenance at that rate. You are divorcing and the courts prefer a clean break. You earn a decent salary. All of that make it unreasonable for him to be paying that much to you. You are divorcing so you lifestyle will have to change - that's life!
With regard to the assets gained from when you separated; matrimonial property is that gained prior to the date of separation so it will not (and arguably shouldn't) count as matrimonial property.

babybarrister Fri 17-Mar-17 20:44:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Joffmognum Fri 17-Mar-17 20:47:28

I don't know a single person who was awarded spousal maintainance. My father earns 150k/year, and my mother earns minimum wage. She was not awarded spousal maintainance. She got a lump sum. I really don't see why you would get a monthly sum and not her...

noitsnotme Fri 17-Mar-17 20:48:04

So once the childcare side of things pass, you want him to effectively pay out more for you than for your son?

GooseFriend Fri 17-Mar-17 20:48:34

I think his offer is reasonable. I think to expect sm when you have a full time job doesn't make any sense. He should pay the CM and also 50% of childcare costs as the childcare is enabling you both to work. But sm, no.

babybarrister Fri 17-Mar-17 20:49:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spice22 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:50:20



Spice22 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:50:56

This has to be a reverse, right? If not, ur crazy

reallyanotherone Fri 17-Mar-17 20:52:48

Spousal maintenance is usually only awarded if one party has given up their career to support and further the others.

You won't get spousal maintenance. You'll get child maintenance, and half of any assets, but you are expected to fund your own lifestyle.

ClodTheGoat Fri 17-Mar-17 20:53:03

I agree with sookie.

I don't really understand the assumption of entitlement to spousal maintenance generally. It seems old fashioned. I suppose I understand it more if one parent put their career aside for childcare - I say this as a lone parent who was left in the shit after going part time and not receiving any form of maintenence at all. All I expect is child support, I support myself on far less than 50k.

Everytimeref Fri 17-Mar-17 20:54:04

Spousal maintenance is based on "need' you would have to prove a "need", don't think wanting a "better lifestyle" would be considered a need.

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