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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Maintenance & Pensions

  • Shezza1
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13 Aug 07 #1957 by Shezza1
Topic started by Shezza1
Is there any need to provide maintenance to a spouse who has a full time job and no children living at home?
She is requesting that income equality be made, for life.

Also, if she has a small pension pot, would a judge support a request for 54% of partner's pension plus keep her own? An actuary said this was how it should be but it seems unfair.

  • LittleMrMike
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13 Aug 07 #1966 by LittleMrMike
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It depends on the respective incomes. Normally there would have to be a significant disparity before spousal maintenance would be considered. If you can tell me what they are, I, or someone else on this website, could give you a better idea.

Equality of income for life is a long standing feminist aspiration but so far the Courts have given the idea little encouragement. However it will keep surfacing every so often unless and until the Courts stamp on it.

I'm no expert on pensions but on the face of it what you say seems unfair to you unless you have compensating assets to offset the difference. I don't normally like offering advice if I don't know the answer. See your solicitor.

Mike 100468

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14 Aug 07 #1979 by Shezza1
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Thanks.
The incomes are £52k as opposed to spouse's £18k.
She has asked for £900 per month for life - this will make her have a higher income than her former partner and once he retires he wont even have £900 per month himself!

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14 Aug 07 #1982 by LittleMrMike
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This is one of those cases where I could say a great deal, but my posts are probably too long as it is. So, as brevity is the soul of wit, I will keep my comments short and to the point.

(a) In my opinion, your wife's claim to equality of income for life is likely to fail.
(b) She is, however, claiming a great deal of money off you for what could potentially be a long period. So you cannot afford to get this wrong - literally. I think it could be false economy on your part not to seek legal advice from someone professionally qualified to give it.
(c) In my view, the disparity between your incomes is such that spousal maintenance for your wife is a serious possibility.
(d) There is also the knotty problem of how much, and how long you have to pay it for. Open-ended maintenance orders ( ie those that have no time limit but terminate only on the death or re-marriage of the payee ) are a subject on which I have more than a bee in my bonnet - I have a hornets' nest up my backside.
(e) The problem is, sir, that you have to look upon your situation as a whole. Financial settlements on divorce can be a delicate balancing act between capital and income provision. If you consult a solicitor, as I recommend you should,he/she will want to know the full picture and not just part of it. You will also be asked about the length of the marriage, and, crucially, whether your wife could reasonably earn more if she wanted to.

I hope you find this helpful to some extent.
Mike 100468

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14 Aug 07 #1986 by Fiona
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14 Aug 07 #1990 by LittleMrMike
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Oh all right, perhaps the remark was a bit OTT, but certainly in the Parlour case the Court of Appeal was asked to rule that an order of 50% spousal maintenance is in principle possible, though it was conceded that on these particular facts such an order was not appropriate.

While fully acknowledging that spouses who are on the whole satisfied with the divorce process do not visit sites like wikivorce, the fact is, as you will be aware that many wives do take negotiating positions which are well in excess of anything they are likely to realise ; there was one wife who was claiming 87% of joint incomes, which would have left the husband less than he would have had on social security. Even Mr Shezza's wife seems to want equality of income for life.

I remember ' consulting ' the Wikivorce calculator in relation to the situation that is developing between myself and my second wife. In a word, she is American and has returned to the USA largely because of homesickness. Although she wants me to come, I don't want to go, for reasons I won't bore you with. Neither of us seems to want to back down. But the point was the the calculator ' awarded ' my wife 70% of the assets and 58% of the joint incomes. At the same time I have been paying my first wife spousal support for 24 years with no prospect of getting out of it except by the one way I don't want to get out of it,. Please allow me the luxury of a little bit of scepticism about English divorce law. I think that recent high profile awards have raised expectations, although I quite agree that John and Beverley Charman aren't necessarily a precedent for Jack and Jill Bloggs.

It would be wrong of me not to add that I find your contributions are invariably balanced and reasonable, and I hope the people you have helped appreciate it.

Mike

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15 Aug 07 #2000 by Fiona
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