Does anyone know anything about spousal support? My soon to be ex-wife will be leaving the FMH soon with my two daughters and leaving my son with me. She has worked out that she cannot afford this with only my CSA child support. She has left me with huge debts which I will have to pay and will barely be able to survive. How much more will she be able to get and how is it worked out?
It doesn't look like anyone's going to answer so I will start you off.
Yes, I do know about spousal support, I've been paying it for the last 25 years with little hope of getting out of it.
The trouble is, you don't give anything like enough information for me - or anyone else, come to that - to offer you any more than general advice.
The first point is that a Court should always allow you enough to live on. If there isn't enough money available,
then your x2b may have to rely on benefits to supplement her income.
Sounds to me, sir, as though you need debt advice as well as divorce advice. I'd suggest a CAB but this is the worst time of the year to seek advice of this nature. When the Christmas credit card bills start plonking on the doormat, everyone panics. But A CAB should be able to give you a free booklet which explains the methodology of how to deal with debt - and to some extent there is a relationship between this and divorce, because in both cases the issue is how much you can reasonably afford to pay. In essence, it is a three stage process : first you work out your income and how you could maximise it, which involves a benefit check. Secondly, you need to look at your debts and prioritise them. Priority debts are those which you have to pay or something nasty will happen ; items like food, utility bills, rent/mortgage, child support in your case, and so on. You have to pay your priority expenditure. Thirdly you need to draw up a weekly/monthly budget, and then work out how much you have left after paying your priority debts and how that is to be fairly apportioned between your creditors. But again you don't say what your debts are ; if they are serious ( £15K plus )then you may need to look at an IVA
which is an arrangement with your creditors under the supervision of licensed insolvency practicioner.
The bottom line is, whether for debt or spousal support, you have to be allowed enough to live on. But I'm afraid it might be cold turkey for some time. Sorry.
Discrepancy in incomes is a factor. Average and lower earners are unlikely to have SM awarded against them because benefits or tax credits usually ensure that there isn't too much difference in incomes. Periodic payments are awarded according to the needs of one party and the ability to pay of the other. The family lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage is another factor.
Thanks all for the replies.
Not sure about the debt advice, the payments are high now because I want to hang on to the FMH (She racked up debts and secured them against the house - joint liability). My son is with me and my 2 daughters going with my wife. I can manage everything if spousal maintenance isn't too high, but obviously if I sold the house I would be in a position to pay more towards spousal maintenance. Since it is my desire to keep the FMH and thus have higher payments, can I be forced to sell my home in order to give her more spousal? She is working full time but on approx half my salary.