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Confused by my solicitor re expectstions

  • Elphie
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07 Jul 12 #341764 by Elphie
Topic started by Elphie
I''m getting increasing confused by my solisitor, to the point where I''m going to see a different one to get a second opinion as I no longer know what is her advice and what she is doing just because I''ve asked her to, regardless of whether it is the best course of action to take.

I wonder if anyone can give me a second opinion on here regarding the spousal /child maintentence though?
My details are as follows:

Me: 33, Ex:37

The number of children you have and their ages; two children, 1year and 3 years old

How many nights the children spend with each parent; only with me, ex currently not having contact.

The length of your marriage and any period of pre marriage cohabitation;5years married, a year of cohabitation before hand

Your respective incomes;he earns 2700 net a month. I''m not currently employed, as I am at home looking after the children, but cb, ctc and income support amounts to about 750 a month.

Your respective outgoings;
I am still in the family home, 3 bed ex council house with a mortgage of 830 a month. A small but fairly new car that has low running costs, so about 100 a month running costs, including petrol, tax and car insurance. Food bill, baring in mind I''m still getting formula, is aboutn400 per month.

Ex was living with his parents when he first moved out, so had no housing or utility costs but recently moved to rent a two bed property and now has rent of 900 a month. He runs a car and a motorbike and is claiming costs of 550 a month to run while his food bill is nearly equal to mine at 350. I feel his income needs are hugely inflated, but I don''t know whether a judge in a court would agree or even care?


My ex has been paying me 900 a month, which he sees as being partly child maintenance (he''s used csa calculator) and half the mortgage. Well, technically just under half, as he is still on the mortgage and sees the house and therefore debt as being half his. He is now threatening to decrease this further.

So, is this a reasonable amount to be paying me a month? I struggle to make ends meet on it, certainly the children won''t be having the same life style as before separation as it would mean no holidays, no clubs or activities and pretty much no Christmas.

Also, is it possible to end up with a legal order or something which states he has to pay x amount until the youngest STARTs school, and then can reduce the amount he pays me? As this would be something I could suggest. I am trained as a teacher so fully intend to go back to work once they are both in school and I''d have no childcare costs, when I wouldn''t need so much support form him as my own income would increase. I can''t afford to go back to work now though, as by the time I cover the child care costs and loose benefits, I''d end up worse off.

Thanks you for reading, any opinions would be gratefully received,

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07 Jul 12 #341770 by Reddit
Reply from Reddit
Your ex is paying you 900 per month on a salary of 2700 net.
How much do you think he should be paying?

  • Fiona
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07 Jul 12 #341774 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
At the moment if he is paying £900 there isn''t a great deal of discrepancy between both parties'' income.

The problem may be that that the solicitor can''t give you definitive answer as every case is treated individually. There is no flat rate for spouse maintenance like there is for child maintenance and given your husband''s earnings it''s borderline whether or not a court would expect him to pay any.

The priority is the welfare of children in particular housing but there needs to be balance and it isn''t unreasonable your husband has somewhere to live.

  • Elphie
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07 Jul 12 #341784 by Elphie
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I don''t know how much he "should" be paying, I want just a couple of hundred more, short term, just so I can cover the things we are tied into contract for paying, keep kids going to the clubs they already do. And just for the next 4 years, then I''d be happy to drop right down to just child maintentence. And I wanted to be sure he would pay it every month, as initially he wouldn''t ay what he would give me, it was wait and see, and when we first split up I had no benefits or tax credits other than cb so I literally had no money of my own and didn''t know whether I''d be able to even pay the mortgage.
So, went to a solisitor, recommended by a friend, and my solisitor a couple of months ago was horrified that that was all he was paying, cue lots of letters demanding an increase. But now suddenly she''s changed her mind all based on the fact he is now renting and doesn''t think I would get any more if I go to court.
So I kind of think like you, and wasn''t it obvious he was going onto get somewhere to rent, eventually? And find myself thinking, was her advice bad in the first place? And from this feedback, it does sound like I got bad advise initially. Which worries me more because we also have problems over child contact so I am questioning that advise as well. Sorry I''m waffling now, everything is so confusing though, constantly being told different things.

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07 Jul 12 #341786 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
From what you say it sounds as though the circumstances changed rather than the solicitor changing her mind but if you have no confidence in your solicitor you should change.

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07 Jul 12 #341788 by Reddit
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I wasn''t criticising, just trying to find out what your expectations are.
There are two words which are key to financial situations in divorce. Means and needs.

While he was living with his parents he may have appeared to have the means to pay you more, but as Fiona said, it is not unreasonable for him to make his own arrangements and this becomes a need drawing on his means and reducing the means with which to give you more. It is balance and both parties can expect their lifestyles to take a hit following divorce. Mine has!

Perhaps I am not objective enough. My X claims she has needs which cannot be satisfied by my means. We are going to court soon to settle this.

So what are your issues with contact? He doesn''t want it? You don''t want it?

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07 Jul 12 #341814 by Elphie
Reply from Elphie
It was an emotionslly and verbally abusive relationship. He has major problems with his anger management,, when we were married I walked in on him about to shake our baby, at the time 8 months old. He always did get frustrated that he couldn''t settle the baby, but this was a point I hadn''t seen him get to before, not with either the baby or our toddler, anyway. After that, he agreed to get councilling for his anger and I never let him alone with the baby, he knew I wouldn''t and said he understood why. But after two visits to the councillor, he refused to go any more and so I ended it. I couldn''t live with it when I couldn''t see an end to it,

So, initially I said he could take our daughter (then 2) for contact but would have to spend time with our baby while I was there, until either he got help for his anger or baby was old enough to communicate more.

I''ve just realised that this is turning into a really long story, so to cut it short we tried a few different options regarding contact but ultimately he wants unsupervised contact with baby and daughter, and to collect them directly from me. I want to hand over at a contact centre, as still after 4 months he uses hand over time to swear and shout at me and kick things in the house in front of our daughter, and I want supported contact in the contact centre for...maybe a year, max...just until the baby is able to communicate more and not press ex''s buttons. He did agree to the contact centre at first, but then changed his mind and I''m not sure what is happening now.



Back to the financial stuff, I do believe he has the means to help me out a bit more in the short term. But he won''t unless he is forced. So I have to decide...is it worth it?

Thank-you Fiona - its reassuring to hear my solisitor might not have been creating fuss.

I don''t want to go to mediation meetings with the ex (coz of the above really) and would like to negotiate through solisitors - does this ever work without ending up in court? We haven''t even begun talking about assets yet, I hate to think what arguements that is going to create.

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