I'm varying my spousal maintenance with my ex-wife, life's moved on for 4 years now and I can't afford the same level of payments, I have new wife and a new daughter.
She's been unwilling to talk outside the formal process, including mediation
, so we are due to exchange Form E2 (not Full form E) in August. This is because full Form E
is not required for variations to Spousal consent orders, it's Form E2.
My question is simple. Beyond Form E2 (which doesn't provide much disclosure to be honest) both parties can request 'further documentation' from either side. I want to get some clarity on what I would be obliged to provide and what I can justifiable refuse. For example, I have a new start up Business that I part own with 4 other Business partners, it's launched 1 month ago and is loss making (so no income for me) but she's indicated she wants to see the bank statements for this new Business to examine. As you can imagine this is something my other Business partners are not at all comfortable about, they do not want me disclosing the Business dealings and statements with my ex-wife, they personally have nothing to do with her.
Given that I will confirm in Form E2 that I don't derive any income from this venture, surely she can't justifiably be entitled to force me to produce Business bank statements?
I mean, what level of disclosure is refusable ? You can end up asking for crazy levels of personal insight otherwise, and Form E2 should have been designed to provide sufficent.
Do you have experience in Spousal maintenance variations?
There are a number of changed variables since the divorce 4 years ago, my legal advice
is that I absolutely can change the Spousal element of the maintenance on the basis that there is a significant change in my financial circumstances due to the new wife (maternity) and the new child (additional burden). I now have to support two additional people in essence.
I've not shirked my duties to pay Spousal for the 4 years to date, however my ex-wife's circumstances have also changed. Our kids are now reaching Secondary school
this year, therefore her capacity to earn more is much greater. Given she's an ACA chartered Accountant, (ex big 4) her current part time earnings of less than £20k do not reflect that she is maximising her earnings at all.
Additionally, the Courts are very much of the belief that a clean break
is required and in this case it seems logically so. Bottom line is that it's not financially possible for me to sustain spousal, child maintenance
and support my new wife and children.
The courts often take the view that the demands of a second family should not lessen the obligations to a first family.
However as well as your circumstances changing there are some positive vibes that the courts are changing their priorities with regards to a mother maximising their income. I assume you are familiar with Wright v Wright ? If not see here: