Is it normal to trade off spousal maintenance against the capital split? Say going 50/50 on capital and get spousal maintenance vs. 70/30 on capital but no spousal maintenance? My preference is for 50/50 and spousal maintenance - so that I have more cash now to put into a new house (btw I do mean cash as we recently sold our house and are sitting on the proceeds - this was not break-up related)
Or are there circumstances where she could claim 70:30 AND spousal maintenance?
My wife currently works part time on just over a quarter of my take-home. Both our kids will be in school this September and she could go back full time to around half my take-home. I know that she would rather not go back full time, and spend time on more sociable activities with me propping up her part time income - but would our financial settlement be based on what would be 'reasonable' to expect her to do rather than what she prefers?
The approach a court might take is to consider capital split and maintenance seperately at first.
Depending on the case the capital may be 50:50, but could also veer away from that due to "needs" or "compensation".
Lets say for example they decide on a 60:40 split as the wife has 2 kids to house.
Then the look at maintenance (and in this hypothetical example) they decide the wife needs 30% of husbands salary for 5 years (until kids leave secondary school).
You can either leave it at that : 60:40 plus 5 years maintenance.
Or you can "capitalise the maintenance" and basically pay it as one lump sum in the form of a higher share of capital assets. Perhaps in this case it ends up being 90:10 split of assets and no maintenance - i.e. a Clean Break.
1 point to consider - courts recently have been awarding maintenace for life, or for a set period but with an option for parent with care to apply for an extension.
If you are the person likely to be paying (rather than receiving) the maintenance - there is an incentive to negotiate a Clean Break rather than have an ongoing maintenance obligation with no certain end date.
The court does expect the parent with care to work but often accepts that part-time work is appropriate while kids are still at school age.
As implied in my entry, I am 'happy' to pay maintenance - but would like to maximise my cash in hand immediately after the split.
Out of interest, because it is not really an option I intend to go for, in case of say a 90:10 'Clean Break' deal, surely I would still have to pay ongoing CSA levels of child maintenance? Or would such an extreme split be deemed to cover that also? I guess it may depend on the actual amounts of cash involved.
Good point. In my previous email I was referring to Spousal Maintenance.
There is no ¨Clean Break¨ option when it comes to supporting your kids via child support. This is an obligation until the child is 19 (or can be until they finish uni)
Another quick tip - even though you are 'happy' to pay maintenance, it may still be wise to ensure that the Consent Order (formal agreement document) states that the deal is a 'Clean Break as regards capital' so that for if you accrue assets in the coming years she cannot come back for more capital.
Just a point I wanted to make but when my case got to court she suddenly wanted ALL the equity and spousal maint of £720pm, kids grown up & away. She got all equity + £600 for 5 yrs, appealled this & got 5 yr bar removed!!
Having raised the child maintenance issue, I am now a bit confused and slightly concerned. From stuff on this and other sites, I had developed the impression that I would be looking at around a third of my net income going to my other half - and that this would cover both child AND spousal maintenance.
I now have a nauseous feeling that I will have to shell out the CSA requirement for child maintenance PLUS around a third of my income as spousal maintenance. Which in total could be half or more of my net income.
I know I am talking vague ball park figures - but I really would like to have some general idea of what might transpire just so I can start to get my head around it. On the basis that nothing good comes out of divorce, I guess my worse case is the more likely??