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How much spousal maintenance?

  • maggie
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13 Feb 08 #13734 by maggie
Topic started by maggie
How is the amount of spousal maintenance decided?
Is the marital income shared 50/50 at the point of divorce like the other marital assets?

  • IKNOWNOW
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13 Feb 08 #13763 by IKNOWNOW
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There are many things that will obviously come into issue here. Although a general rule for a starting point is the joint income (including benefits receieved eg CTC & ChB) divided by 3, and that amount being what income you should have in total. So your income made up to one third of the amount of the joint income, the difference being made up with spousal maintenance. Like I say this is only a starting point. Things like split of assets and if no children involved, sometimes a Clean Break should all be discussed. Hope this helps. You could also try the Divorce Calculator on this site, to get an idea of what you may be entitled to.

Regards, Sarah

This is not based on any legal experience, just what I have picked up along the divorce highway.

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13 Feb 08 #13789 by maggie
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Does the old one third rule still apply ?
Haven't we moved on?
www.ambrose.appelbe.co.uk/DivorcePayments.htm
Before the year 2000, settlements were based on what is described as the ‘one third rule’ where the starting point for the wife was one third of the joint incomes. This was based on the conception that the wife “will not have so much expense” in comparison to the husband when starting a new family. But since the White v White case in 2000, the general principle was to award both the husband and wife an equal settlement when divorcing after a long marriage, especially if their collective income exceeds the needs of each party. In cases where the earner’s income is not enough to cover the outgoings of each party, the Judge will consider the need as the dominant factor, especially where there are dependant children involved.

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13 Feb 08 #13793 by Fiona
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There is no formulaic approach to SM and it's the overall position that is important. If memory serves me correctly it was Lord Denning who tried to introduce what is called as the "one third rule", but it's always been problematic because it doesn't apply to many cases and at best was only ever a rough guide. Each individual case is treated separately at the discretion of the judges.

In most cases the deciding factors are the need of one party and the ability to pay of the other. Generally the more the capital settlement is in favour of the lower earner the less ability the higher earner will have to pay because their monthly outgoings for accommodation will be more. Also it's unlikely that someone on or below average earnings will be deemed to have the ability to pay SM. Benefits, tax credits etc paid to the lower earner usually means there isn't so much discrepancy between the two incomes anyway.

With so called "big money" cases the emphasis moves away from need onto sharing and it is now recognised that after a long marriage both parties should benefit from income over and above what is required to meet their needs eg the wife in the MacFarlane case was awarded a third of the husband's income for life.

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