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Help, SAHM about to divorce, what do I do about maintenance. How does it work?

(9 Posts)
pixie54 Sun 18-Nov-12 08:10:04

Can anyone offer any advice? Fairly certain that a divorce is imminent and that we are going to do something called collaborative law rather than go thro courts to sort settlement.
Ive been a SAHM to our children aged 9 and 7 since 2003 and in 1987 I had to give up work so he could take a job abroad.
He has a good job and is a high earner. I've been told I will probably have a spousal maintenance claim - does anyone know anything about this? Eg what would happen if I returned to work? Can anyone offer any advice on financial settlements? Thanks

Hatpin Sun 18-Nov-12 08:25:16

Do you mean you are going to use mediation to reach a settlement? If so have you seen a solicitor for some initial advice? I wouldn't go into mediation without, tbh. They will be able to answer all your questions but yes, it sounds like you probably would. All depends how much is in the pot though!

NoraGainesborough Sun 18-Nov-12 09:19:29

Its difficult to say. Lots must be taken into consideration. Such as, are you able to work?
I thought spousal maintenance was very rare these days.
I think you need some legal advice.

LadyLapsang Sun 18-Nov-12 11:05:32

Hi OP,
How long have you been married?
You say you haven't worked since the birth of your first child, did you work before that?
Think your age, health and education / qualifications / professional / work experience will all be taken into account - ie. are you reasonably capable of work, either straight away or within a few years with some retraining.
You say your DH has a high income but could he keep two households without you making a contribution?

nqtatwitsend Sun 18-Nov-12 11:09:29

First thing you should do is get some legal advice from a good family lawyer.

I have a good friend who was in a very similar position to you. She did not get spousal maintenance but did get a divorce settlement that enabled her to buy a nice house outright and maintenance of 50% of her ex's income (after school fees have been paid). She does not need to work as her ex is a high earner (and his career has flourished since their marriage broke up). I believe that this is unusual but am not sure. Again get a good lawyer (my friend did).

Also, my Mum was in a similar position a long time ago. She had not ever worked. She used the time we were at school to get some A-Levels, do a degree and then re-train. She's now pretty close to retiring from a rewarding career that has brought her a life unimaginable from the life she had with my Dad. TBH I think that her post-children life was probably a whole lot more fulfilling for her than the years she spent bringing us up.

Not sure why the bit about my mum is relevant (maybe just a long-term option which might be hard to see right now).

nqtatwitsend Sun 18-Nov-12 11:14:15

I might also add two more things:
1) My friend did not go to court - it was all done through mediation (with solicitors independently advising each party)
2) My Mum says that re-training was the best thing she ever did because it meant that she could finally be free of my Dad which was truly liberating for her

meditrina Sun 18-Nov-12 11:25:42

Search for olgaga's posts about practical steps to take on separation.

Find a good lawyer, have an initial consultation (first half hour free) and find out your options.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 18-Nov-12 12:03:17

Get a really good lawyer. Collaboration and mediation are great if everyone's playing fair and not trying to stitch each other up. Work out what you are entitled to and go for that or better. Any hint that you're being short-changed and go the court route... Exes are not friends, that's why they are exes and, when money is in the picture, that often brings out the worst in people.

meditrina Sun 18-Nov-12 12:06:31

You can take the free half hour with more than one lawyer, btw, and make sure you find one who will fight (fairly) on your behalf. Your lawyer is neither your friend nor your therapist. But they are vital to your settlement and therefore your future well-being.

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