My partner and I are both going through a divorce. Mine is a relatively simple case - 10 year marriage both people financially indepedent. It is an amicable split of our assets - 50/50 and no spousal maintenance in either direction going forward. He was married for 18 years and has two children, age 14 and 12. After 6 months of him renting, we decided it would make sense for him to move into my flat. We have agree to split the cost of living there 50/50. He fully intends to pay to support his children including their public school tuition fees. He is also expecting, in addition to some split of the marital assets to pay some level of spousal maintenance.
I have read on this website conflicting things about cohabitation. It was my understanding that my financial situation or assets cannot be taken into consideration in his settlement. Is this true or have we done something foolish that will negatively influence his settlement?
It is my understanding if you have been living togeather as if a married couple for a period of six months although you are not married it may be classed as so and therefore your financial situation may be taken into consideration during settlement.
Your assets are not combined with his and assessed together but cohabitation will be seen as reducing his living costs, e.g. he is no longer paying rent and he will be seen as having his housing needs met.
I think Sadie is right. The Court cannot make an order against the income or assets of a third party ( ie you )
but if he lives with you, that may have the effect that he might have to pay more SM then might otherwise be the case.
His income and capital (including house or mortgagibility) will be seen as "resources" available to you.
The Court has to consider the relevant principles which are set out in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which, essentially, reads:-
"25 (1) It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers .... to have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters, that is to say -
the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(b) the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
(d) the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
(e) any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
(f) the contributions made by each of the parties to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;
(g) ...the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which ... (by reason of the divorce) ..that party will lose the chance of acquiring;..."
In many cases it may make no difference to the case at all.
However if a new partner had a house that was sufficient for both of you and say your spouse lived in the FMH with Children with a problem in raising cash the Crt may then say a sale would be innapropriate of FMH.
Clearly if you are together with a partner (waged) maintenance payments for that spouse are likely to be irrelevant for that spouse.
Also if that cohabiting spouse has children that spouse can hardly claim that she or he should get more of the FMH equity solely on the argument she or he has to look after the children.