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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

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Ex taken lower paid job

  • qwerty111
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04 Sep 12 #353729 by qwerty111
Topic started by qwerty111
I think my ex has taken a lower paid job on purpose in order to avoid maintenance payments to me and our children.

Brief background - stbx left about a year ago, following which I instigated divorce proceedings. Shortly after receiving the proceedings he cut off financial support for me and our two children (4 and 1 years old at the time) and has not paid anything since. I have been living at my parents and providing for the children and I using my pre-marital savings. I don''t have a job at the moment and so have no income.

I have been asking him for an interim monthly maintenance payment since the beginning of the year - based purely on a financial calculation of what has been going out of my account from my savings each month (excepting my legal expenses). To date he has provided nothing claiming he can''t afford anything. We have recently done financial disclosure and I have seen his statements which show he is spending a large amount of money each month on non essential items (clothes, holidays, restaurants, entertainment etc).

He is the MD of a family business in which his father owns all of the shares. The board of directors are comprised of him, his father and his brothers and sisters. I saw from his statements that around the date he would have received the divorce papers from me, his salary dropped by half, but he received ''loans'' from his parents which took his income to about the same level as before his salary halved. I put this to him that it looked as if he was trying to mask his true income which I didn''t think would go down very well if I had to take him to court for a maintenance pending suit. Now he has just told me that he has ''had to step down as MD'' and take a lower paid position in the family company.

I don''t think it''s any coincidence and I think it''s a blatant attempt to wriggle out of any maintenance payments. I can imagine that once the finances are sorted between us he will miraculously step back up as MD and his salary will increase again. Can anyone tell me if this is legitimate way of operating in divorce proceedings, or if a judge will see through it? If so, what ''proof'' would I need to indicate that it''s a sham? I''m not sure how to prove it other than stating that before he left us he was able to provide for me to be a stay at home mother and our two children, and now, suddenly, he can''t provide anything at all. Any advice would be greatly welcome. I am so worried about mine and the children''s future. We cannot live at my parents for much longer and my savings are running out. For various reasons I am struggling with finding employment at the moment and with having my youngest at home full time it all seems completely hopeless.

  • Jen2011
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04 Sep 12 #353815 by Jen2011
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Hi, i understand your frustaration i am also having to look at ways though the courts at getting a true picture of my ex''s income, i had some advice that said ask your ex husband to produce his tax return and tax calculation first. That would normally show all money even any he had put across to pensions, or into the business. Your problems are more difficult though because theres a good chance his family will help him with regards his apparant salary for when contributions are worked out based on his form E. I didnt find the County Court much help with regards this, they seemed to think a professional man would simply not risk lying ( although everyone in the court could see he was lying though his teeth about various fiancial matters). Sorry i cant think of anything else, but there is some really helpful people on the site. Good luck. Jen

  • Elphie
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04 Sep 12 #353868 by Elphie
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I know it''s not the answer you are looking for, but have you applied for all the benefits you are entitled to? If / when you apply for mps it is important to show you have accessed all the income you are entitled to. Your children are roughly the same age as mine, so if your savings are under £6000, then you will be entitled to income support, which is £72 a week; if your savings are between £6000 and (I think ) £11500 then you will still be entitled to some income support. Once on income support, this entitles you to several other benefits, including housing benefit which may enable you to move out of your parents house; free prescriptions, free school meals for the older child, healthy start vouchers for milk, fruit and veg and council tax benefit, if you move out of your parents house.
Regardless of your savings, you are entitled to child tax credit, which - assuming they are the same as mine as you are in almost an identical situation - would be about £500 a month.

You also have the option of going through csa for Child maintenence, although I understand they are useless at getting payments from self employed people, for the reasons you have described. Is there a reason you haven''t applied for mps yet?

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