Been married 8 years, no children, live in rented accomodation.
When I met my wife she was a nail technician on minimum wage, I have helped her build a career so she is now a corporate account manager, even so her salary is a lot less than mine. Mine £60K hers £22K
She has two sons from a previous marraige, both over 21yrs, who live with us, both on reasonable salaries, one earning more than her.
She wants to move out, could she get spousal maintenance or would any court expect her sons income to be taken onto account i.e. total household income, when deciding if she can afford her new living expenses? i.e. they pay a reasonable sum to live with her not a pittance?
Her sons will be irrelevant unless she does intend to live with them. And even if she does I would not expect her to tell a court that. The best case scenario for you would be if all 3 of them move into somewhere new before the financial resolution is complete. If that happens then yes her sons incomes may be relevant. But I doubt that will happen. No court would order or expect her to live with or be supported by her sons indefinitely. So she would have to put herself in that situation voluntarily.
She may have an SM claim since you have a good income and hers is moderate. It really depends on needs.
Spousal maintenance looks at need and ability to pay. If she shows her incomings do not match her reasonable outgoings, this shows her need. It would then be necessary to look to see if you can afford to pay any spousal support. There is a big difference in incomes.
Unless she plans to live with her sons long term their incomes are not really relevant. While they are contributing Spousal maintenance could be set at an nominal amount of £1 which could be varied if her situation changes.
Then I would simply sit back and allow her to move out. Once that has happened, worry about SM. The circumstances will obviously have changed when she moves out, and so the figures will be different. If she moves into a 1 bed flat that she can afford on her own, then her SM claim will be greatly reduced. If she moves into a 3 bed house with her sons, again her SM claim will be reduced. So really I think you just need to twiddle your thumbs for a while.
If she does not move out within a reasonable timescale then you can cross that bridge. But I think you would be better off if she does move out. So it''s worth waiting a while to see how things develop.