after I started sleeping in spearate bedrooms, and we had conversations about ending our marriage, my wife managed to get temporary housing from the council very fast even though there was no urgency for either of us to leave the matrimonial home.
now she has a rent and bills to pay and expects me to pay them. we haven't even started the divorce procedure yet.
what are my duties here? does it matter that she decided to leave for the financial settlement?
You don't have to pay anything and if you do start paying something then you just dig yourself a hole as the court will just say well you can afford it so carry on. She needs to stand on her own two feet and get a job and so on and if you pay it will likely just encourage her to want to continue with the situation herself. One thing to remember with universal credit is that and this is different to previous government benefits, spousal maintenance is classified as unearned income so for every pound you pay to her in spousal maintenance the government will reduce what they pay in universal credit by one pound. I don't know how payments you may choose to make now would be considered as it's not court ordered spousal maintenance but I would assume if it was on a regular basis she would have to declare it.
well, on one hand my son is living with her at the moment so I wouldn't want him to starve, I wish he'd come and live with me. On the other hand, it suits me that she moved out, so I'm in a bit of a pickle
Child support is separate to spousal support and is done through the CMS and it isn't handled through the court anymore so you shouldn't wait for the court hearing to pay
. There is an online calculator where you can calculate the amount you should pay and then either pay directly, but always keep records or do through a bank account, never cash or you can for a fee pay the CMS and then they pay your ex-wife for you.
To be clear I was talking about spousal maintenance before not child maintenance
. Spousal maintenance is just for your ex-wife but my point was that her \"needs\" are taken care of by government benefit and unless you earn enough to take care of your own household, pay child maintenance
to her as required by the CMS and then have enough spare to pay over all the benefit's she gets every month which could run into thousands, you won't have the ability to pay any spousal maintenance.
The other point is that even if your ex-wife isn't earning today she does have an \"earning capacity\", she may not be using it currently but the court can and does tell people to go and get a job and stop asking for spousal support. Some people may mental or physical issues or young children to look after so then they don't have an earning capacity but unless there is some issue like that she will be assigned one even if it's minimum wage.