I hope i''m in the right section and someone may be able to help.
I have almost equal shared residence of my two children. I am a 44yo electrician whose knees have had it and awaiting another MRI scan and likely knee operation. I dont think I can carry on working in this profession as i phsically just cannot do it anymore so i have decided to return to college in september to retrain in a career that doesnt require me to be crawling around on my knees all day. I will also be looking for a part time job, about 20 hours per week, probably at minimum wage, and fitting in around my college course and having my children which is usually from thursday to sunday every week and half of all school holidays. I am not working at present due to the knee injury and claiming Income support and carers allowance for my eldest son who is 11, (younger one is 10)although i do not receive any child benefits, tax credits, DLA or mobility. I am going through divorce at present and the first financial hearing is 21st august. I have put applications in from my ex for spousal maintenence, maintenence pending suit and pension sharing order as she is working and in receipt of all the relevant benefits relating to the children. I am filling me form E in and was wondering what to put down with regards present earnings and future earnings. Would the court be likely to order my ex to pay me spousal maintenence? If so, for how long? Incomes at present are me=£1168 per month (rent 750, council tax 90) and her=£3250 per month (rent 400, council tax 120). her pension=100,000, my pension=30,000. During the marriage we both worked part time but at different halves of the week, me at the end of the week and she at the beginning of the week in order to look after our children without the need for childcare. Her part time wage was £1300 per month net, mine was £500 per month net. (she has always been the main breadwinner throughout our 17 year relationship (4 years of marriage))
my college course could well be an Access course for 2 years (under 16 hours per week) and then on to a part time course at University. I am anticipating the next 5 years or so to be spent studying, caring for my children half the week and working 16 to 20 hours also.
If my ex has to pay SM, how long might it be for? Would it have to be until the youngest turns 16 or 19?
Ideally, I would like a Clean Break, with her signing over one of the CB''b and paying me half of eldest sons DLA benefits etc £105pw. That would enable me look after the children sufficiently as well as working and college. At first she wanted 50 a week from me for CM but i think she soon realised that that was totally unrealistic. Now She just wants to keep all the benefits for the children, me to pay her no CM, and then whoever has them for their half of the week is financially responsible for them. Personally, i think that this is totally unrealistic and unreasonable.
Would her barrister advise her to settle at the first hearing to save future costs? or would they like it to drag out even longer to etort more money from her? ( i have full legal aid as i am on IS)
Any help or advise would be appreciated guys
my solicitor thinks we stand a good chance. He said that because of the shared residence and the fact that i have them almost 50% of the time, and that there is such a disparity of incomes, that there is a strong possibility of me getting SM and a proportion of her pension. She has a local education authority pension worth about 100K at present. My private pension is worth about 30K into which I havnt paid anything for about 6 years.
However we are in Winchester county court and they are renowned to be heavily in favour of mother''s due to the affluence of the area. So anything can happen i guess?