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How on earth does one income support two households following divorce?

Posted by Mocoboco 
How on earth does one income support two households following divorce?
June 13, 2020 08:43PM
Hi all,

I'm trying to understand the consequences of a potential divorce me and my partner may be headed towards.

She doesn't have a job, and looks after our 1.5 year old daughter.

So I know I'd have to pay a set amount of child support. But also would have to pay spousal maintenance to keep them in as close to how we live now as possible right?

But I don't get how that's remotely possible. We get by now on my salary, which at £85k ish is more than enough to live on, but us living in the south east in London commuter town, there's no way we could ever afford two households rent. So what do people do?? Does it force you to move to another part of the country?

I've looked into benefits that could support her but they're only a few hundred quid a month even if she had absolutely zero income, and she wouldn't, she'd have half my salary right?

Thing is she wants to work but was in the middle of a career transition when covid hit and prospects aren't good ahead.

Sorry for the rambling post, I would just like to hear other people's experiences.
Re: How on earth does one income support two households following divorce?
June 14, 2020 05:23PM
The fact is that no-one can pay more than they can afford and the courts do not order that because it is not sustainable. It is also not true that the previous standard of living must be preserved and it is certainly not true that the standard of living of one spouse must be maintained at the expense of the other.

The reality is that the same income does not go as far when it has to support two households rather than one. The standard of living of both spouses is likely to drop. In practice after divorce a spouse that previously had no or a low income will try to augment it. Depending upon personality and opportunity that income is usually augmented by getting a job,working more hours, state benefits or acquiring a new partner with the means to support them.

It is also, incidentally, unlikely that you will have to pay half your income to support your (ex) wife and child. Although that does occasionally happen because it just can't be avoided courts are also mindful of the disincentive involved in ordering that. They ask themselves why the person paying should get out of bed in the morning if he/she has to pay over half his/her income. Most people would resent that and probably act accordingly.
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