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.

Redundancy - payment of maintenance from capital?

  • Rickysf
  • Rickysf's Avatar Posted by
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
15 Sep 12 #356048 by Rickysf
Topic started by Rickysf
Hi all, I''m likely to be made redundant from my overseas job. Only been here 2 Yeats so no big payout. Upon my return to the uk it could take a long time before I find a job. I have always paid maintenance out of income before, never capital. I''m concerned that she''ll (the x) will demand I continue to pay maintenance from my savings if I am out of work. I''ll ensure she gets her share of any redundancy payment but if I have no income I don''t feel it fair I pay her out of my hard earned savings. From the lucrative maintenance she''s had from me for the last 5 years I know for a fact she''s built up savings of her own. Thoughts anyone?

  • LittleMrMike
  • LittleMrMike's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
15 Sep 12 #356054 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
You should not just stop paying. Unfortunately you need to apply for a suspension or variation of the maintenance. Although it seems clear you cannot pay the maintenance at the previous level, you still have to apply.

This can be done by negotiation and I think most sensible ex wives would accept the realities. It may of course, mean a drastic reduction is life style, but redundancy always does.

I would normally suggest that it is reasonable to use the redundancy payment as a cushion to soften the blow, a sort of parachute payment if you like, but in general terms you are not expected to make maintenance payments out of capital. It could in some circumstances be reasonable for a short time.

The only time I have ever got really angry on this forum was with a wife whose ex had lost her job and she insisted that she had a right to maintenance for life and he had to pay it, by raising a loan ( as if he could ) selling the car or other assets,
which was complete and utter balderdash. I managed to keep my thoughts to myself, but it was hard.


  • soulruler
  • soulruler's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
15 Sep 12 #356080 by soulruler
Reply from soulruler
It is obviously not your fault that you are being made redundant. I agree with LMM that you need to apply for a variation, do it NOW.

In divorce a spouse cannot claim bonuses not received, payout not yet received. Therefore on that basis I do not see why your wife should be able to claim a redundancy which is supposed to set you up financially in the short term (only short term contract as it happens).

I really think you need to write a letter asking her to be reasonable and if not apply straight into court.

If you were still married she would not be taking you to court for more money as she would have to accept that you were being put out of work for a reason beyond your control.

This is going to be an increasingly difficult problem, not just for the old bread winner, but the ex spouse and lets not forget the important people here which are the children who never asked to be born but have a huge amount to "look forward" to on their plate.

  • frenchie4
  • frenchie4's Avatar
  • New Member
  • New Member
24 Sep 12 #357736 by frenchie4
Reply from frenchie4
soulruler wrote:

It is obviously not your fault that you are being made redundant

That could be incorrect. Lots of people are made redundant as they are not very good at their jobs. Not saying that is the case but the best people tend not to be made redundant. Also redundancy is not always a bad thing. I know loads of people who''ve got massive payoffs and walked straight into a better paying job or got their old job back on a contracting basis earning twice as much.

  • Shoegirl
  • Shoegirl's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
25 Sep 12 #357751 by Shoegirl
Reply from Shoegirl
Redundancy in law is due to a diminishing need for the work to be performed. It isn''t a reflection of performance in the role.

Performance management is a different thing entirely. Dismissal based on performance is a capability issue not a redundancy matter.

As someone who has had to due to business circumstances make thousands of people redundant over the course of some years, i can absolutely say that many great people are let go through no fault of their own.

It''s unfair and inaccurate to say the best people don''t get made redundant. It''s not as simple as that. I wanted to add this only because redundancy is a confidence knocker and I wanted to reassure people facing this nightmare that it is rarely down to performance that this happens.

Some employers might dress up a performance issue as a redundancy but this is risky for the employer and highly unusual because of that reason.

  • LittleMrMike
  • LittleMrMike's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
25 Sep 12 #357761 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Well, Shoegirl, I think it''s fair to say that I know as much, if not more, about employment than I do about divorce, but my knowledge is rather out of date since a great deal of water has flown under the bridge since I retired.

I always advised employers, but during my CAB work as a volunteer I came across people who had been made redundant and the two questions I always asked, were

What were the reasons for your dismissal :
Do you think that was the real reason ?

and I advised employers ALWAYS to be completely frank about the reasons. If the reason is that the employee was an incompetent twit, say so and be prepared to prove it. Don''t water them down to spare the employee''s feelings - because if you do, you risk the tribunal finding that your reasons were inadequate.

Redundancy is potentially a fair reason for dismissal, but even in a genuine redundancy situation a dismissal can be unfair because of the way the redundancy was handled, or because it was in breach of agreed procedures.

Sometimes employers do '' dress up '' a dismissal for incompetence as a redundancy, for reasons which might well be well meant ; nobody thinks the worse of you for being redundant. But it''s a dangerous game, for reasons I have given.

However from a divorce point of view , if a payer of SM has no income, then from the point of view of the payer, he cannot pay maintenance from income he does not have.

As I have said, it is usually reasonable to use a severance payment as a cushion to soften the blow for both sides. But for the payer the message is, apply for a variation, without delay, and for the payee, then the sensible thing to do is to negotiate.

As an aside, the question is often asked of spousal maintenance, what incentive is there for a recipient of spousal maintenance to seek employment, if not now, then at some time in the future ?

The answer I would give is that maintenance is only as good as the person who pays it. In a recession, there is the ever-present risk of redundancy. People can, and do, fall ill. Maintenance is insecure, and those who look upon it as a lifetime annuity can sometimes find out - too late - that it isn''t.


  • somuch2know2
  • somuch2know2's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
25 Sep 12 #357779 by somuch2know2
Reply from somuch2know2
Well said LMM

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11

The modern, convenient and affordable way to divorce.

No-Fault Divorce £179

We provide the UK's lowest cost no-fault divorce service, managed by a well respected firm of solicitors. 

Online Mediation £250

Online mediation is a convenient and inexpensive way to agree on a fair financial settlement.

Consent Order £259

This legally binding agreement defines how assets (e.g. properties and pensions) are to be divided.

Court Support £250

Support for people who have to go to court to get a fair divorce financial settlement without a solicitor.