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Spousal maintenance?

16 replies

JLbaby · 03/02/2017 20:56

Does this ever get awarded these days to 'normal' people? I.e. Not mega rich people?

I was under the impression it did but my solicitor seems to think differently.

Basic history - separating from H, own house, he wants to stay in the house (fair enough as I do not) so he would buy me out. However that lump sum, although I'd have enough to put a deposit down, I wouldn't be able to make the repayments as I do not earn enough (work part time). Even if I worked full time the childcare costs would outweigh the mortgage costs so I still couldn't afford a mortgage!

I'm basically buggered aren't I? What do people do in situations like this? Surely I can't be the first one to be in a situation like this?

OP posts:
user1477282676 · 04/02/2017 07:24

He'd have to pay child maintenance...and you could use that to cover their care or he'd have to do half of their care. Could you go 50 50 with them?

It sounds like you need a full time job and he needs to consider childcare half his responsibility in addition to paying that he would need to pay half the cost of their other expenses too.

scaevola · 04/02/2017 07:32

It does get awarded, but it's typically for a short period (couple of years) to allow that spouse a cushion as they get back to supporting themselves.

It may be awarded for longer period, but unless you're over 50 and it's been a long marriage, then I suggest you don't hold your breath.

tovelitime · 04/02/2017 07:41

I've a number of friends who receive this and will do until they remarry or until their youngest child finishes full time education. I don't know the details of their settlement St but I thought it was fairly common

Blinkyblink · 04/02/2017 13:11

I will be receiving both until end of secondary education. My children are 6 and 4

JLbaby · 04/02/2017 14:01

Do you mind if I ask under what circumstances you were granted it? Perhaps it's because I work part time I wouldn't be granted it?

OP posts:
PigletWasPoohsFriend · 04/02/2017 14:05

It very much depends on your DH income.

If you did get it however, it is unlikely to be for a long period of time.

I have had a few people I know divorce recently where I thought they would get it, however it wasn't awarded by the court.

Blinkyblink · 05/02/2017 12:09

Under what circs I was granted?

I'm a SAHM. He is a £150k earner.
Deal is I return to work within next 18 months. I gave up a high earning career (although not even close to his current)

Blinkyblink · 05/02/2017 12:11

Spousal will continue by the way, when I get work. Will probably be refused slightly, depending how much I earn. But I will have commuting costs and a nanny to consider. I will only be returning part time

Blinkyblink · 05/02/2017 12:13

As for how long, will be many years. Mine are 4 and 6. End of secondary school

WorldTraveller1988 · 12/06/2017 05:35

I have recently been through this process with ex-wife so will share my experience.

Firstly Child Maintenance is a statutory requirement and is based solely on the Paying Parent's income. For first 800/week earning it is 12% of Gross Income. Anything above 800/week then it is 9% of Gross Income for one child. Adjustments are made depending on how many nights the child stays with the paying parent. One night per week reduces Child Maintenance by 1/7th and so on. If parents split care 50:50 then there would be no maintenance. Child Maintenance Calculators can be found on Internet.

Spousal Maintenance is a very different subject and there is no formula. Each case will be examined individually. Spousal Maintenance, if any due, is paid to the financially weaker party (usually the wife) based solely on needs. Wants, wishes, greed and revenge are not considered. First step is for wife to list all of her income such as: wages, working tax credits, child benefit, child tax credits, statutory child maintenance and any other income from savings or assets. Then wife must list all her essential outgoings; rent/mortgage, utilities, food, etc. If essential outgoings exceed the Wife's income then the shortfall is to be covered by Spousal Maintenance if the paying party can afford to make such payment based on their own income and needs.

Many ex-wives make the mistake of presenting unrealistic budgets. Mine presented a budget of 4,500 pounds per month for life and 100% of all assets. Judge (female) tore it to shreds and remarked that it was another sad example of an ex-wife basing expectations on greed and revenge as opposed to needs. Wife's advisor's were also challenged as to why they had allowed such a ridiculous budget to be put forward.

Outcome was that Child Maintenance of 650/month payable till child is 18 (son was 10 at the time of award). Spousal maintenance of 400/month payable for 4 years. Logic was that by time child is 14 wife can work full time and be less dependant on myself and she also has a house of her own that I bought for her before marriage that she can either sell or rent to help support herself. Those numbers were based on myself being self employed through a Limited Company with 100K+ turnover.

To my amusement the award made by judge was less then I had offered one year earlier which ex-wife had rejected without reason. Think the judge was trying to make the point that greed will be penalised by the courts as my legal costs were subtracted from ex-wife's lump sum based on her refusal to accept a fair offer without reason.

The moral of the story is


PossumInAPearTree · 12/06/2017 06:07

I'm in the same boat and no idea what to do.

After paying bills and mortgage I will have about £400 a month left for food, petrol, car bills, and keeping a 16yo in clothes, etc. No idea if that's doable.

Hermonie2016 · 12/06/2017 10:47

Hi Possum, I think £400 would be a struggle but really depends on your petrol and car costs can be high.Have you included all benefits you may be entitled to?

Worldtraveller, thanks for the detail.Women are still financially disadvantaged by divorce as they have the bulk of childcare and a teen still needs a parent around.Its actually the most critical time for parenting.I think both sides can be unreasonable..did you go to a full hearing? Was the separation a result of an affair? It seems emotions can often drive unreasonable behaviour.

Women suffer financially after divorce but tend to be happier, men do better financially post divorce but tend to be less happy.
Women are financially disadvantaged by having children so I know courts tend to recognise that.

PossumInAPearTree · 12/06/2017 14:59

I looked at the entitled to website and it says I'd only be entitled to £25 working family tax credit.

babybarrister · 12/06/2017 17:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PossumInAPearTree · 12/06/2017 21:02

We have equal pensions. He has slightly more savings. He earns 2x me. But Dd is 16yo so I wouldn't get maintenance for long.

lizzieoak · 13/06/2017 05:25

I wondered about WorldTraveller mentioning that the paying parent has their outgoings reduced by 1/7th for every night in a week spent at the payer's house. What if that fluctuates?

In my country it's if the custody is shared anything above 39% of the time away from the receiving parent then the child support doesn't get paid out. In our case my kids would usually spend one night a week w the exh but often enough he'd cancel (if he had a cold, if the kids had or appeared to have colds, if he had a sporting event, a date, etc) that it would fluctuate monthly which seems a bit tricky to enforce (where enforcement is necessary).

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