When dividing assets / Negotiating a financial settlement is it best to go for a Clean Break? Ie: request all or most of the equity in the house in return for less maintenance. He could stop paying maintenance presumably, & it would be hard to recover / restart payments?
This is quite a broad question dependant on circumstance.
I gather that you would be the party that would be receiving the spousal maintenance?
The advantage of a Clean Break is that, as you said you do not have to continue to ask for money, or be reliant on your ex and also you have a lump sum for you to deal with as you wish.
The disadvantage may be that you recieve less overall and should your financial situation worsen and your ex''s substantially improve it will be mush harder to revert the matter back to the Courts for a future maintenance payment.
I suppose the factors that really need to be looked at are:
1. Do you trust your ex to continue to pay the maintenance.
2. Does he have a job that is secure and so that he will continue to earn at this level.
3. Does he have any plans to move abroad?
4. Are there sufficient assets for your maintenance claim to be capitallised at this early stage.
The main reason for doing a Clean Break would be that I do not trust him to continue to pay maintenance after the children have left school, & I understand it can be hard to get payments started again? He is a high earner, but is 55 (so would be 60 once our youngest child finishes school) and his share of the equity in the house would be about equal to another 7 years maintenance which would take him up to pensionable age. I am on a low income so would find it hard to get another mortgage so would like the security of owning the house and a defined bit of the pension, he is on a high income so could afford to pay rent and concentrate on rebuilding his pension perhaps? I do not think he will be able to move to a higher income bracket than he is in now, but his new partner is a high earner too.