I'm new here and wondering if I could bend someone's ear about money, mortgages and marriage!!!!
My estranged husband pays the mortgage and bills etc for me plus he has to finance his own place and his own bills. As you can imagine this has put a huge strain on our finances. I have cut back on general spending and just use the money in my own separate account to pay for my car, children's clothes and entertainment. My husband however hasn't curbed his spending. He is now asking me to contriute £350/ month to the mortgage and various life policies. I work p/t and bring in approx £500 a month.
I don't know what his long term plans for and he hasn't asked for a divorce at this time.
My questions are: where do I stand legally on this?
should I contribute?
can he make me?
what options are open to me?
As you can probably tell I don't know much so any advice/ comments would be greatly appreciated.
If your husband pays all of the mortgage bills etc then I would suggest he has been very generous. Any decison courts make is based on what is needed and if you have a home adequate for you and the children. Your husband would not be expected to pay for this in its entirity. He would have to pay child maintenance 15% of net salary for one child and I think 20% for two. A court would then take into account his own livig costs. If there is an amount left and you cannot meet you bills as required then the courts would probably award spousal meanitenance to even things out as it were. If he had Â£1000/month spare after his bills and you had Â£200 left after your bills then they might award you Â£400/month or more. Should you contribute - yes - a court would insist on it. Can he make me - yes - if you are estranged a man is not expected to still look after you but to contribute to the upbringing of his children and help you to some degree in the form of spousal maintenance. Best option open to you in my opinion is to see a family mediation solicitor together and work out who is going to pay for what and get this ratified by a legal agreement. A good starting point is to use the Divorce Calculator on this site.
It's usually difficult running two homes rather than one and takes some adjustment. In most cases the need of one party and the ability to pay of the other are the deciding factors for determining spousal maintenance. The exception to this is high money cases when the emphasis moves away from need on to sharing.
It depends on the figures and how much your husband earns and contributes, but
I would have thought his contribution to the mortgage and endowments in lieu of SM plus CM, your pay, CB, tax credits and the single person's reduction in council tax would mean your needs are deemed to be covered.
One word of warning........from your post "I should think so!!! He walked out on us!..
I understand how that can make you bitter, but it takes two to make a marriage work. Only you and him no the reasons why he left.
The trouble with being bitter is.......it can cost you a hell of a lot of money! You go and see a solicitor, who thinks you're bitter and 5 out of 10 of them will be rubbing their grubby paws with glee! In the end you can end up losing many of the assets you both built up over the 20 years.
Try and try to remain amicable, it will help you and your kids in the long run.
You advise that working part time that you bring in around £500 per month, are you claiming tax credits?
If you are then this could be in the region of £500- £600 additional per month, also you wil be getting child benefit and then looking to get child maintenance from your ex.
I would look into claiming this if you aren't already, assuming your working hours enable you to qualify. If they dont it would be well worth looking to increase your hours to qualify for this if possible.
In addition, amend the council tax to get the 25% reduction.
On the whole, if you do claim tax credits, add this to the maintenance you will receive, along with beneifts and your own salary, this can often amount to the same or as near as nett pay of the ex in alot of cases.
Finally, if the mortgage is in joint names you would be expected to contribute towards this.
Hi Loiuse - I wasn't being completely serious with that "I should think so" comment. I have a strange sense of humour which doesn't come across well in e-mails.
I'm not bitter. I'm relieved he's gone. I have no problem with contributing as long as I'm not being taken for a ride.
I'm well aware of solicitors. My friend is one!
Imthedandyhighwayman - thanks for your advice. Very useful and informative.I never thought about tax credits. Never knew about the council tax reduction either. The child benefit gets me up to £500 a month ! Believe me I couldn't get anywhere near my husband's salary!!
Anyway a lot has happened over the weekend, my fairy godmother has waved her magic wand and everything has been sorted out so I don't after worry about the house.