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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.