I signed a Consent Order in early 2008 that I am unable to maintain. It''s the usual story of she had a better solicitor on the day and I was left stuck with a financially crippling order. One of the solicitors who has seen it has even stated that it was the most unfair and one-sided order she has seen in in her 20 years as a family Lawyer.
Since signing my income has dropped 35% whilst I have had to increase my ex wife''s payment by 13%. I am now 20,000 in debt owing money to my sister, HM taxes etc, I have sold my coin collection and all other valuable assets I once owned. There is no more left and the Court is pressing me for payment as I have now fallen more than 1 month behind.
I pay 525.00 pcm for each of my 3 daughters (16,19 and 20)until the end of tertiary plus one gap year each and the same for my wife for life.
My wife who had no debts at all when she excluded me from the family for no apparent reason other than she wanted ''financial independance'' has since re-mortgaged and invested some 400,000 in property and spends every penny I pay her on these investments. The older children get absolutely nothing from her.
I have attempted 3 times to convince the family Courts that I was living on a financial knife edge. 1st time abuse (yes, ''abuse''), disrespect and a flat refusal to vary. 2nd time more abuse and insults, even when I said my middle daughter was living with me (and wasn''t going to Uni anyway)this time a threat of arrest(written in Court statement). Third time I convinced the this time male Magistrate that I shouldn''t be paying for a daughter who was living with me, but there was a sting in the tail!
He said that I should still contribute 150.00 pcm towards my wife''s Mortages!
My question(s) is(are) this;-
Has the family Court got the right to make me pay towards my wife''s personal investments? If so, should it not be constituted as part of her SPOUSAL maintenence, and then would it not fall out of the family courts'' remit?
The fact that a wife has a mortgage is relevant when considering her needs, and her needs are of course one of the factors that are taken into account when determining how much maintenance you have to pay.
As to investments - well, of course there should be some balance between the lifestyles of the former spouses. If you are left with enough to stash away it may not be unreasonable for her to do the same ; but it can hardly be acceptable for you to be on the breadline and her to have enough money left over to invest.
I find it very strange that you should be subjected to abuse and disrespect.
I''d be interested to see the wording of the order though to see whether there are any loopholes.
I suspect this is a combined order, none the less should the payers income drop and the payer starts getting into debt to maintain payment the order should be varied to reflect this, especially if the lady concerned is using money not for day to day living but to invest.
Another problem this gentleman may face is that he has made multiple applications to vary, so he may have been before the same judge/magistrate more than once, they can and do lose patience when this happens, unless there is a significant change in circumstances, if not costs orders come into play and even the refusal to hear applications in the future.
With my first attempt I produced a pretty full ringbinder full of statements, bills, proof of income etc etc all sectioned off and cross-referenced. I made it as plain as possible so that she could see that my outgoings were higher than my income. My ex wife produced simply a spread sheet. It showed that she had spent 98,000 in the previous 11 months, yet the Magistrate asked me how my children were meant to eat and when I said I had a large Tax bill to pay she actually said that my maintenence payments would have to take precindence.
No I didn''t use a solicitor, I could''t afford one.
I pay 525 each for my eldest and youngest and I pay 525 in spousal on top. My middle daughter''s payment was dropped recently but not completely cancelled as I think it should have been. He said I had to pay 150 to help with my ex''s mortgages which she took out some time after she bade me to leave. If I have to pay loans that she takes out after we are divorced, where will it end? She now has a green light to borrow at will knowing the Court will make me pay for her unilaterally decided loans.