I have recently agreed child maintenance with my ex.
We have also come to an agreement over spousal maintenance.
The issue now is how long does SM go on?
Obviously my ex believes that it continues in perpetuity, whilst I have been advised that 2 years is sufficient.
The different approaches seem to centre around whether SM is a ' life payment' ( ie to keep her in the manner to which which she has been accustomed) or a payment to 'ease the transition from married to single life'.
If I was an angry person, I would stick to 2 years transitional payment, and have done with it. Indeed, why pay for something for which you receive no benefit??
The other view point is that I earn more than my Ex, and can afford it, and that, after all, she is in her current lifestyle as a result of both our efforts.
This will depend on the length of the marriage and whether or not there are children. If the marriage is short and there are no children, no maintenance may be payable. There would often be a Clean Break after a readjustment of capital assets in these circumstance.
The court has a duty to consider whether a clean break is appropriate. It does so when the original order for maintenance is made, and whenever it is varied.
A clean break is another way of saying that the maintenance rights of both parties are dismissed, whether or not one party has received maintenance in the past. Once maintenance rights are dismissed, they cannot be re-opened.
In better off families, it is sometimes possible to "buy out" maintenance rights by giving the person who would otherwise receive maintenance a large capital sum. There is a commonly used method of calculation for capitalising maintenance called the Duxbury Calculation.
It is also possible to order maintenance to be paid for a specific period of time. Such an order is sometimes called a term maintenance order.
For example, maintenance might be paid for a period or term of, say, two years to enable somebody to retrain and become self sufficient.
There are two types of term maintenance order:
The first allows for the order to be extended, provided a formal Application is made to the court to extend the original period of maintenance before it has expired. In these circumstances, the court can order maintenance to be paid for another period of time or even to be paid on an open ended basis.
The second type of term maintenance order is one that cannot be extended. The court order would state expressly that it could not be extended. Orders like this give the person paying maintenance the certainty of knowing that at the end of that period no further maintenance will be payable.
The courts have become increasingly reluctant to make orders for term maintenance, particularly orders that cannot be extended, where the person receiving the maintenance is looking after young children. It is regarded as too harsh to disallow a mother to come back to the court should she need to do so, to ask for maintenance to continue or to be varied.
My SM was sorted late last year and even though the DJ said that my ex should be self supporting within 2 years the order was until she is 65 when the pension share kicks in, but i have been advised that when she is in a better financial situation i can apply for a variation order to change the amount, hope this helps.
Have I understood correctly? You have been told that with your x having 50% childcare of two children aged 7 and 10, two years of maintenance is sufficent to ease her transition into the workplace? What about your work?
It seems clear to me that whoever drops off/picks up the children from primary school cannot possibly be expected to work full-time. Do you work part-time too?
Her 3-day work "lifestyle" thing is irrelevant. Her lifestyle included being married when amongst other things a shorter working week may have been fine.
The lifestyle business in divorce is aimed at keeping certain non-trivial standards, eg if the children were in a private school but doesn't cover habitual coffee mornings. The choice of taking a 3 day working week for pin-money is a luxury not a lifestyle.