I have read the guides to two guides to "periodical payments" in the forum and the library.
I have a short question about conduct. I understand the courts usually do not take conduct into account, but would they do so if emotional abuse can be proved?
They both mention "contribution to the marriage" as a factor but do not explain how it affects maintenance.
I understand that in the case of a parent (usually a woman) not working in order to bring up children they have mode a valuable contribution and career sacrifice and that is taken into account. What if:
They did not work through choice or inability to get a job rather than to look after children? In particular if they stopped working before having children and did not return to work as the children got older.
Whether not working has affected their ability to earn - there is no career sacrifice in terms of their ability to earn.
The working spouse took on a large share of childcare responsibilities
Would it generally be assumed that someone middle aged would be able to get a job if the wanted to when calculating how much maintenance they need?
Spousal maintenance is based on need on the one hand and ability to pay on the other. It is not about who did more childcare. The point about contributions is that both parties are considered equal.
On divorce, both are expected to maximise their incomes through either working, claiming benefits or a combination of the two. If benefits are claimed, any SM is deducted on a pound for pound basis. If one spouse is unqualified with little or no work experience it would be a reasonable assumption that they are unlikely to earn at a significant level especially in their 50s.
They could receive a greater level of SM on a short term basis say if they were studying for a qualification that would improve their chances of employment. It may then taper off as they find work and start earning or may continue until pensions can be claimed (including any pension share)
It is important to remember that financial settlement is needs first. Even substantial lump sum financial contributions are secondary to needs.
Thanks for the explanation, I got confused by the guides saying that contribution to the marriage had to be considered.
What happens if incomes increase post divorce separation? I think I would earn significantly more if so much of my energy was not drained by conflict (the work is there, I do not have the energy to do it).