Can anyone please tell me if my husband can insist that i must apply for universal credit before he will entertain any discussion about spousal maintenance. His solicitor has written to me to ask for proof that I have applied.
The facts are that my husband left a few months ago after 28 years of marriage. We have 2 children- 1 at uni and a 16 year old at school living at home with me in FMH. Husband has moved in with new partner in similar size new home.
Before having children I worked in a bank and had good prospects but gave that up to be the primary Carer. During the marriage I worked a lot of low paid part time (evening and weekend jobs) to make my fair contribution.
I am now working part time cleaning and waitressing but my income and child maintenance (which I had to claim through CMS) do not cover my expenses. My husband’s income is more than 3 times my total income and I see from his form E that he has plenty of excess income which he is spending on holidays, designer clothes and having a good time.
I think I might be entitled to some welfare as I have used up my £2000 savings on solicitors fees for the decree nisei and now have to represent myself.
The issue is that I do not want to have to claim welfare. Why should the state subsidise my husband’s affluent lifestyle? AND if I claim I will be forced to take full time low paid (very tiring when you are in your 50s) jobs. I genuinely would like to retrain so I can get back into an office job perhaps as an accounts clerk and I would not be able to do this if I am on benefits.
My question is - must I apply for benefits and, if I don’t, will it reduce the amount of spousal maintenance my husband has to pay me because I didn’t do everything in my power to increase my income?