Separation has been a long time coming - and now I''m glad this site is here. Hello.
I have one question - we intend to divorce amicably, there is no single reason aside from we can''t be together, however, with me leaving my wife in the home with our two children (13 and 18) and suggesting a maintenance amount, she has told me that I will need to support her for life to the level she has come accustomed to.
Is this right - I can''t make much sense out of spousal maintenance at the moment, but I want what''s fair for both. How to proceed?
Welcome to wiki, sorry you find yourself here but welcome.
In terms of child maintenance you are a little confined by the CSA, this would be 20% of your net salary but would be reduced downward depending on how many days you have the children, also note that the CSA is due to change to work from a % of gross pay but that is later in the year (apparently)
In terms of spousal maintenance that will depend on your ability to pay. Your wife is describing a joint lives order, and you really want to avoid this, you may need to give up a higher percentage of the equity in the FMH to achieve this.
If you have not moved out yet then the best advice is not to until the concent order is signed off.
I am assuming from the ages of your children that this is a fairly long marriage?
As already mentioned, in relation to Child support there is almost an exact formula which is used to calculate the amount that you should pay. Spousal maintenance on the other hand is not an exact science. There are many factors that can affect the amount that you should pay incluing, the length of the marriage, the sum that each party earns, whether one party has given up a career/job to care for children, furture earning capacity, ages, income upon retirement etc. The list is not exhaustive.
As already mentioned a maintenance order on a joint lives basis can prove to be very expensive and often men in particular do try and ''buy'' a Clean Break by offering a larger share of the capital.
Aonther factor that you should be cautious of is that any sum that you may choose to pay now (if of a sufficient level) may set a precedent of how much you are willing to pay in the long term.
After all that I guess the answer is that it is very difficult to say how much you should be paying without having further details from you and that you should act with caution without being unfair. Apologies that I cannot be of more assistance.