Terry & Co Home

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Spousal maintenance vs child maintenance

Posted by atr79gb 
Spousal maintenance vs child maintenance
August 28, 2020 05:35PM
I'm currently going through a divorce and have a child arrangements order agreed for 50/50 shared care.

We have the FDA hearing on 12/10 but are hoping to resolve the matters before then.

Unfortunately my wife is refusing to work but has asked that I continue to support her. Note, this is in addition to supporting the children 50% of the time and paying any child maintenance costs. She is aware that spousal maintenance would be deducted pound for pound from her universal credit so has asked that I label it as voluntary child maintenance. I don't feel comfortable with this as I feel it is effectively playing the system.

If this ends up being resolved in the FDA, am I right in assuming that a court would not mandate that spousal maintenance is labelled as child maintenance as this is effectively encouraging people to play the system?

I do not see any monetary benefit in offering spousal maintenance as it would be deducted from her universal credit.

What would a court's likely view be? Any thoughts welcome.
Re: Spousal maintenance vs child maintenance
August 29, 2020 02:18PM
Child maintenance is effectively paid according to a formula - essentially a percentage of net income. The child maintenance people give details of how it is calculated on their web site. If you are paying that amount or less then it is child maintenance. If you are paying more it would be child maintenance plus spousal maintenance. You should not label spousal maintenance as child maintenance simply so that your (ex) wife can game the system. You can tell her that you will pay extra voluntary child maintenance if you want BUT the quid pro quo for that would have to be a clean break between yourself and your (ex) wife - ie no spousal maintenance and no possibility of spousal maintenance in the future. That clean break should be made formal and final by way of a court order. Paying extra child maintenance in order to secure a clean break is common enough but if you did pay extra child maintenance there be no question of any spousal maintenance - not even for £0.01 a year. There would have to be a clean break.
Re: Spousal maintenance vs child maintenance
September 01, 2020 03:54PM
Thanks for the advice, David.

I've been advised to do a CMS assessment prior to the FDA. This would prevent inflated child maintenance benefits from being included in the divorce finances.

Am I right in thinking that if a CMS arrangement was already in place, a court would be unlikely to make an order for child maintenance?

I'm aware that 13 months after the consent order has been made, either party can apply for a CMS assessment.

Otherwise, it may be beneficial to pay additional maintenance in return for a clean break as per your suggestion.
Re: Spousal maintenance vs child maintenance
September 02, 2020 02:29PM
>>Am I right in thinking that if a CMS arrangement was already in place, a court would be unlikely to make an order for child maintenance?

Yes, although a court will not normally order child maintenance anyway in cases where the CMS has jurisdiction. I think the courts take the view that they have enough to do without doing the CMS's work. The only cases in which a court will normally make child maintenance orders are (1) when both spouses want it incorporated into a consent order (which is rarely a good idea), (2) in cases where the CMS does not have jurisdiction (such as when one or both spouses do not live in the UK) or (3) where it is case of a 'top up' order - ie to provide for such extras as school fees which the CMS does not cater for.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login