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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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Ex-Partner Not Working - Financial Impact

  • Vigorate
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04 Jan 20 #510897 by Vigorate
Topic started by Vigorate
Hi All,

I have a question on which I would like your views:

Question: Is being expected to work 2 days a week reasonable when the kids are 8, 9 and 13?

My ex claims she can only go back into full time work when the kids are all in senior school, which seems reasonable, but I do not see why she cannot do some part time work now (2 or 3 days a week). The kids are in school locally and there are no extenuating circumstances. I live overseas so am not around other than school holidays.

Obviously I cannot force my ex to work but the financial agreement we have expires at the end of Jan 2020 and I want to replace the "global" payment I provided each month with "child maintenance" as per the government website calculations. We are formally starting the divorce process at the end of the month after 2 years separation also.

I did some some investigations and child maintenance alone would be 1,200 but if she worked 2 days a week she could get an additional 1,800 (in pay + benefits) to make the total 3,000 per month. This is working 16 hours a week for the minimum wage.

There is currently no motivation for her to work if I keep paying the same as the previous agreement so I am planning to give my ex 2 months notice before payments reduce to child maintenance only and she can find a job in the meantime.

Any thoughts on whether 2 days a week is reasonable or the plan in general?

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04 Jan 20 #510898 by spinit
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This is all settled case law with various cases that you can reference in your own case.

"once children reach "Year 2" or age seven, there is an expectation that the primary caregiver will start part-time work and make a financial contribution."

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfina...enance-payments.html

www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/app...ance-payment-dispute

I did see some fuller set of guidelines but I can't find them now which went on to say that ex-wives are expected to be in full-time work when their youngest is at secondary school so like 11. So with your youngest being 8 at the very least, she should be working two days a week or 16 hours and realistically she should be on the path now to move back to full time in the next couple of years.

"I want to replace the "global" payment I provided each month with "child maintenance" as per the government website calculations" - Very good idea, these "global" agreements are a joke. Just pay what's needed for your kids via the CSA website calculator then your ex-wife needs to start earning her own money and unless ordered to pay spousal maintenance by a court I would just stop paying it as otherwise as you say what's the incentive for her to get a job.

"We are formally starting the divorce process at the end of the month after 2 years separation also." - The other reason for stopping paying spousal maintenance is if you end up going down the court route the court will look at your voluntary payment of spousal maintenance and basically say well you can afford it so continue it.

But even if you do continue it on a limited basis make sure there is no mention of a "global" order and specify that X is for the children via the CSA calculation and Y is for spousal until she gets working and set an expected date for that happening.

Also if your ex is receiving or planing on receiving any state benefits under universal credit then spousal maintenance is treated as unearned income. So what that means is if is entitled to £500 universal credit and you pay her £200 spousal maintenance then the government will reduce their payment to £300.

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04 Jan 20 #510901 by Vigorate
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Hi spinit - Thank you so much for providing this information and comments.

They help me see the way forward much more clearly now. Thank you.

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04 Jan 20 #510904 by spinit
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No worries. These "global" order's really are very doggy.

becket-chambers.co.uk/2018/01/31/global-...ders-now-mainstream/

If I was you I would get the CMS to make an official assessment of your earnings and get a copy of that assessment now ahead of going to negotiation or court and then you just stick to that assessment and refuse to consider a global order and keep repeating that until they agree.

They may want to keep in place nominal spousal maintenance due to the kids ages but your goal should be to get as short a term order as possible with a section 28(1A) bar and with a six month cohabitation clause even though cohabitation is almost impossible to prove I would still want it in.

www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/insights/blogs/...-does-life-mean-life

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04 Jan 20 #510906 by WYSPECIAL
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spinit wrote:

If I was you I would get the CMS to make an official assessment of your earnings and get a copy of that assessment now ahead of going to negotiation or court and then you just stick to that assessment and refuse to consider a global order and keep repeating that until they agree.


As you live abroad CMS will only be able to assess if you work for a UK registered company though.

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