A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


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.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Maintenance: How long??

  • ag234
  • ag234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
07 Feb 08 #13170 by ag234
Topic started by ag234
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.


Does anyone have any answers/experience??

Andrew

  • phoenix1
  • phoenix1's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
07 Feb 08 #13178 by phoenix1
Reply from phoenix1
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.

  • ag234
  • ag234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
08 Feb 08 #13247 by ag234
Reply from ag234
Thanks for help.

We were together for 11 years and seperated for 2 years.

We have 2 kids (7 & 10) , and childcare is 50:50.

I am unhappy about supporting this woman for the rest of her life. She may well be the mother of my children, but I do not feel inclined to help her financially any more than I really need to.

Anyone any experience of time limited maintenance?

  • Soldierblue
  • Soldierblue's Avatar
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
More
08 Feb 08 #13248 by Soldierblue
Reply from Soldierblue
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.

  • ag234
  • ag234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
08 Feb 08 #13250 by ag234
Reply from ag234
Thanks.

We are in an equal position regarding pensions, so that is immaterial to a calculation.

Technically, she could be self supporting, if she did 5 days work a week instead of the current 3 days.

She is arguing that 3 days is a'lifestyle thing' ( ie all her mates don't work!) and therefore I have to support her.

Does this sound right??

  • Soldierblue
  • Soldierblue's Avatar
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
More
08 Feb 08 #13254 by Soldierblue
Reply from Soldierblue
Dont quote me but i am sure the DJ will expect her to maximise her income, wouldn't we all like to only work 3 days and still maintain a lifestyle!!!!

  • Vail
  • Vail's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
08 Feb 08 #13258 by Vail
Reply from Vail
ag234,

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.

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11