Spouse Maintenance
April 21, 2022 12:44PM
Been married for nearly 25 years

I moved out of the rented property last November and have paid rent and bills for my ex until June when the tenancy ends and I plan to take my name of the tenancy, divorce agreed. we are now trying to sort finances via mediation or solictors, we have no children, no property, ex was not working when I left, has not worked since 2017, but is now working I believe only part time, Should I have to continue to support her? Is mediation better than solictor?
Re: Spouse Maintenance
April 21, 2022 02:08PM
Whether you have to continue to support your wife depends mainly upon (a) what her earning capacity is, (b) whether she suffers from any disability, (c) the reason she has not worked since 2017, (d) why she only works part time now and (e) what your earning capacity is.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
April 21, 2022 02:46PM
Wife just decided not to work, no disability, no reason part time only at the moment, maybe that was all she could get, yes I do earn around 46k
Re: Spouse Maintenance
April 21, 2022 04:50PM
You do not say what she earns or what you think she could realistically earn. Because there are no dependent children in principle this should be a clean break case but it is a long marriage and if your wife has a low earning capacity she may have a case for some spousal maintenance.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
April 22, 2022 08:43AM
I have had a letter from her solictor saying she is looking for Spousal Maintenamnce for a minimum of 3 years.

This seems a bit extreme to me

I presume as this is in the early stages of discussion it could take a while to actually happen, just thinking of my finances
Re: Spouse Maintenance
April 22, 2022 10:32AM
Time limited maintenance is better than non time limited maintenance. If you do settle for time limited maintenance it is VERY important that you get the wording checked by a solicitor because it requires very specific wording to ensure that it really is a limit and that the period cannot be extended. For an order to say, for example, that 'A shall pay B £X per month for three years' is NOT sufficient to ensure that the payments really are limited to three years. That wording would allow your ex-wife, for example, to apply to extend the term any time during (or after) the three years and to vary the amount. This is why it would be VERY important to ensure that you get any wording properly checked to ensure that it really is time limited without the possibility of extension.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 11, 2022 10:32AM
Hi, I am have discussion re the amount of maintenace, I have done an income and expenditure sheet and have a balance of £250 per month, so was thinking £250 a month for 12 months, however I have now moved in with a new partner, I am not on the tenancy agreement so am paying her 1k a month, the mediator has said will need to include her income as well now, is this correct as effectively I am a lodger, if this is the case, then I am thinkinng would be best to move out as really don't want my new partner being involved
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 11, 2022 02:16PM
If you cohabit with someone then the financial circumstances of your cohabitee would be relevant. For instance, if you have an income of £2,000 a month and outgoings of £1,500 a month then in principle you would have £500 per month available to pay maintenance (assuming it applicable). However, if you lived with someone then it is reasonable to assume the cohabitee would be contributing by sharing costs such as rent, utilities etc. That potentially means you might then have more than £500 a month available. The figures are notional but explain how it works in principle. For this reason it is not usually a good idea to cohabit until the financial issues arising from a previous marriage have been formally and finally settled.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 11, 2022 02:20PM
Thanks, did not know this, as I have said I have moved in, what happens if we split during the time of agreed spouse maintenance, would it best to move out?
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 11, 2022 04:51PM
Only you can decide whether it is best to move out but if you cohabit before financial issues between you and your ex are formally and finally resolved she will be entitled to know the financial circumstances of your cohabitee.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 12, 2022 08:35AM
When you say final resolved, that mean concluded, if we agree 12 months so would need when the 12 months is up and not as agreed initially.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 12, 2022 11:08AM
I said 'formally and finally' resolved which means an agreement in the form of an agreed court order. How long maintenance last depends upon what is in that agreed court order.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
May 12, 2022 06:28PM
Definitely don’t move in with anyone until you have the consent order signed. My ex wife moved In with the bloke she was cheating on me with not long after she moved out. That was great for me but did somewhat mess things up for her when it came to arguing her case for our consent order. Apparently she said to a mutual friend that she wished she had not done that because of the financial implications it had one her.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
June 09, 2022 04:19PM
Ok, we have had our second mediation, I suggested £250 a month for 2 years, she wants £800 a month for 5 years, I did say split the difference and so would be £525 which is more than I can afford really, she said No. This is with no children our house involved, she is now working at 20k whereas I am on 46k and she thinks this is unfair as I can afford to go away etc

So looking like going the court route, any ideas on costs and times for this, do I need to pay her anything whilst this is being sorted out, she has moved into another renteed property and she wanted me to pay her first months rent, which I reluctantly have agreed too

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2022 04:22PM by MikeTheLad.
Re: Spouse Maintenance
June 09, 2022 05:34PM
No, unless there is a court order to that effect you do not have to pay her anything and if you can get away with it you would be better off not paying her anything. She is now in a rented flat in her own name and she has an income of £20K so in principle she should be able to pay for herself.

She could make an application for maintenance pending suit. If so, you might have to reconsider but she would have to show that on the basis of her income and expenditure she actually required maintenance pending suit in order to meet her outgoings. She is not entitled to maintenance pending suit simply because you earn more than she does.

If you were to make monthly payments to her on a voluntary basis then that would very likely be regarded as the base level for any ongoing maintenance so it is a situation best avoided if you can possibly help it. A single person earning 20K should be able to meet their outgoings from their income - especially if she could increase her income by working more hours.
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