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Divorce query - can ex wife demand this?

(51 Posts)
WildwestWind Thu 08-Jan-15 19:31:02

have name changed for this query.
Have lived with partner for a year in my house. Partner buys food and I pay for everything else re household expenses whilst his divorce is going through.
Partner gives ex wife and two children (13 and 9) three quarters of his salary and keeps one quarter for himself.
Financial settlement is being discussed and has been amicable so far but now ex wife's solicitor is demanding to know my income and financial position 'as it could affect support for wife and children.'
I'm a widow and don't have any dependent children. Both me and my partner work full time, ex wife hasn't worked for 20 years.
Any ideas if I will need to contribute to support them?

oldestmumaintheworld Thu 08-Jan-15 19:33:20

Yes, you do

oldestmumaintheworld Thu 08-Jan-15 19:34:30

Sorry posted too soon, what I meant to say was yes, you do have to tell the solicitor. I don't think it's fair either but that's the way it is.

OldLadyKnows Thu 08-Jan-15 19:36:10

No, you won't. And don't be intimidated by "the solicitor" asking/demanding, solicitors do what their client tells them to do, and a letter from a solicitor has no more importance than one direct from the ex.

Are you sure it's all amicable? Because that sounds a bit aggressive to me.

WildwestWind Thu 08-Jan-15 19:44:56

So two different responses - it's so confusing.
Old lady - well it's been amicable so far as ex wife he not suffered financially since partner left her but I guess it could get rough as the nitty gritty is decided.
Partner is fully willing to support ex wife for a reasonable time and the children for ever but I don't understand why my income is relevant

yummytummy Thu 08-Jan-15 19:56:34

Its relevant as you are a two income household. Not sure if exwife has a partner but if not as kids with her, her needs are considered especially as you have no children

traviata Thu 08-Jan-15 19:57:24

You do not have to tell anyone anything. Your Partner has an absolute duty to disclose full details of his financial situation, which includes whatever he knows about your finances. It would ludicrous for him to say he has no idea, because for example he knows that you work full time, what you do, and he will know who pays for what as between you. Your income is relevant because it shows whether you are likely to be able to continue to contribute; but you don't have to give details.

It would be reasonable for you to say, for example, "I earn £28k p/a net", and don't specify any more than that.

No you will not have to contribute to support his ex; but your partner's ability to contribute will be assessed based on his new household finances, including your contributions to your shared household costs. So eg if you pay the mortgage on the house that your partner now lives in with you, and you pay council tax etc, or regularly treat him to holidays, those outgoings should not be totted up in deciding what partner's available income is for provision for his ex.

loudarts Thu 08-Jan-15 20:01:16

Not during divorce but calculating dh maintenance for dss on the form he had to put the amount I was contributing to household bills but not the actual amount I was earning

OldLadyKnows Thu 08-Jan-15 20:02:04

Yes, I x-posted with oldestmum. It used to be that your income would have been taken into account by the Child Maintenance lot, but that hasn't been the case for some time. If the CSA/CMS were involved your dp would have to pay 20%* of takehome for his two dc while they are at school, and other financial arrangements (eg, who pays the mortgage on the family home, if any) would be a private arrangement between your dp and his ex, so 75% is extremely generous.

You're already subsidising his family by supporting his housing needs, utility bills and so on; if he had to put a roof over his own head there would be a lot less left over for them. This demand to know your finances is intrusive and unnecessary.

*Less if he has the dc more than 52 nights pa.

IDontDoIroning Thu 08-Jan-15 20:10:22

I can't belive you should have to but Im not a solicitor or ever been divorced. Does your dp have a solicitor? If so he needs to ask them exactly what he must do.
Just because he is living with you does that mean he has more money to give his ex? So what would happen if you split up and he had to buy or rent his own place ? What if he had moved in with someone without your assets or lack of own dependants ?
While I agree he should step up to his responsibilities I can't see why you should have to agree to support his wife.

Surely he should pay at least the CSA minimum or a higher figure if that's what he agreed for his children and then make sure he has enough to support himself. Depending on how much he earns 3/4 of his salary seems a lot at the moment.

WildwestWind Thu 08-Jan-15 20:16:35

We have the children every other weekend and one evening every week. Partner has disclosed his financial situation and has provided bank statements etc. I'm sticking to my guns and saying that I won't disclose my income to the solicitor but I didn't realise that my partner could be forced to do so. I do feel that I am doing my bit to support everyone as it is

Micah Thu 08-Jan-15 20:24:33

Dh's ex tried it.

She didn't know my last name though, so she pretty much stood up in court and said she wanted "Annie's" income disclosed and taken into account for the settlement and csa.

The judge laughed at her. So ime no, you don't.

As others have said, child support is a % of his income. Spousal maintenance is entirely separate, and my understanding is its not often awarded these days, as women can get jobs too.

So I'd dig your heels in and refuse until they get a court order to force you.

katandkits Thu 08-Jan-15 20:31:16

As has been said, child maintenance is calculated on his income, not your household income. You are not responsible for his children, they have two parents already. You do not have to disclose anything as you have nothing to do with the matter. Neither should your partner have to disclose what he knows about your financial affairs
spousal maintenance is unlikely i believe a clean break settlement is preferred by courts these days.

WildwestWind Thu 08-Jan-15 21:09:34

Thanks for the advice I'm going to sit tight and wait and see if it's pushed for

CaptainAnkles Thu 08-Jan-15 21:11:44

Doesn't matter how much they push for it, your income has no bearing on what he pays for his children.

Knifey Thu 08-Jan-15 21:26:58

Do they not look at his living expenses too though. i.e what he needs to live? So, as OP is paying most of his living expenses, he has more disposable income IYSWIM?

OldLadyKnows Thu 08-Jan-15 21:36:17

Who is "they", Knifey? CSA/CSM don't, and this isn't going through the courts.

TheDietStartsTomorrow Thu 08-Jan-15 21:40:18

Can't you just refuse? It seems terribly invasive to me.

Knifey Thu 08-Jan-15 21:41:41

Ah sorry, I had seen "solicitor" and assumed court. So, it would be taken into account by the court, if it were going to court?

katandkits Thu 08-Jan-15 21:43:48

CSA used to take living expenses into account. This has not been the case for some time now. A non resident parent is expected to pay a percentage of their pay and then it is their responsibility to live within their means once that sum has been deducted.

OldLadyKnows Thu 08-Jan-15 21:49:55

I suppose it'll have to go to court eventually, if only for rubber-stamping, but it's better if the two adults can sort everything out between themselves. IMVHO, this is a fishing exercise by the ex. It would be weird to assume that OP would be willing to subsidise her dp's ex for the next decade or so, assuming the ex can work and support herself (and, of course, help support the dc too) even though she isn't atm.

SugarOnTop Thu 08-Jan-15 22:49:11

OP....your partner needs to also factor in HIS contributions to YOUR household after his divorce is finalised. you cannot keep subsidising his living expenses for the duration of your relationship.

he needs to run all this by a solicitor if he hasn't already got one.

katandkits Thu 08-Jan-15 23:24:53

His contribution to your household has absolutely nothing legally to do with his divorce and isn't a matter for his solicitor surely? Of course it is something OP should definitely discuss with him but it is not to do with his ex wife. It is a decision that OP and her DP make between them once they know what his monthly income is after maintenance is paid.

SugarOnTop Thu 08-Jan-15 23:50:01

i didn't say it had anything to do with his ex-wife.

he is paying way too much as it is to his ex-wife - well above the legal minimum - which means he cannot afford to share the household expenses equally.

he needs to factor in his living costs before he finalises any settlement/maintenance. he can still pay above minimum CM without being left with only 25% to live on.

his ex is a greedy grabby cow by the sounds of it. she needs to get off her backside and get a job and start providing for her kids too.

WellWhoKnew Fri 09-Jan-15 00:40:19

Before we all start throwing stereotypes around.

A solicitor, and therefore, the person they represent, is entitled to ask any questions they like of their husband, irrespective of the next person's relationship with the husband.

However, if, you are going through the courts, the courts may agree that certain questions are unnecessary or unreasonable. Go to court if you can't agree what they are/or what you think they should be.

Let's pretend, just for a moment, and OP, I'm not being personable to you here. But let's pretend...

The OP lives in a mansion, mortgage free, and has enjoyed, and will reasonably enjoy, a life of leisure for the rest of her days such is her financial set up.

The partner of the OP, pays 75% of his income 'reasonably' to his spouse. His income 'just happens to be' £100 per week. You don't mention numbers, so I'll be extremist about this.

So he keeps 25 pounds per week for himself. The partner is mighty fine about this because she's 'sorted' for life.

No judge, given the situation is going to interfere with this set up, even though, statistically, it's "unfair" statistically speaking.

Because, equally, the assumption can be made that the 'partner' can afford for the husband to pay 75% of his income. And that the mother of his children is relying on Tax supported benefits to support her 'genuine' income needs.

So, now you get the picture as to why, you describe yourself as 'his partner', that you're interfering with a pre-existing contract. Since you don't actually discuss the numbers directly, I hope I have illustrated to you the legal system that your 'partner' is married into.

As a partner, you have no rights. As a husband, he has responsibilities.

Yes, they can ask. You can also sit tight until a judge decrees. But if you're going to be 'it's not fair' about it all - have a little think: The wife is paying the home bills, your home bills are 'shared', or maybe not. All the legal system is asking is 'what can your partner reasonably afford to pay for his children'. So yes, they are also asking 'how can you reasonably afford to pay for your partner, her husband'.

That be the law. It sucks. But that be divorce.

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