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Spousal maintenance ceases on cohabitation?

  • motherof2
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16 Jul 12 #343425 by motherof2
Topic started by motherof2
I was divorced in 2007 and was awarded child maintenance for my two children plus spousal maintenance. My ex is now taking me to court to try to apply to cease the spousal maintenance on the grounds that I am cohabiting (there was no specific term in our Consent Order regarding cohabitation). Having now seen his form E and supporting documents it is obvious that he has not only been massively underpaying the child maintenance but also that our incomes and lifestyles are totally disparate (he alone earns double what my partner and I earn combined and his wife was until recently also in a lucrative career which she left voluntarily).

Does anybody have experience of what a judge''s opinion would be on continuing spousal maintenance? I accept that a reduction may be applicable but I need the spousal maintenance in order to enable me to work part-time so that I can look after my two children. I have already applied to the CSA to have the child maintenance reassessed (neither he nor his employer have responded however) but I need to know what sort of a gamble I am taking in going to court as my solicitor will not give her opinion. The legal bills are using up all my meagre savings and I might have to cut my losses.

Any advice/experience welcomed! Thanks in advance

  • maisymoos
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16 Jul 12 #343429 by maisymoos
Reply from maisymoos
It is down to your ex to apply for a variation, the fact that you are cohabiting does not mean there is an automatic right to stop paying Spousal Maintenance. Your need and his ability to pay will be the primary consideration.

You have done the right thing in relation to the CSA, do keep chasing them though. Your ex and his employer will not be able to ignore them for long.

  • motherof2
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16 Jul 12 #343433 by motherof2
Reply from motherof2
Thanks for your input. I can prove that I need every penny I have coming in whereas his income has risen considerably since our divorce and he still has a large amount of disposable income after paying the current level of maintenance, all of their joint household bills and leading a very extravagent lifestyle.

Logically it would seem clear that there is a case for continuing some element of spousal maintenance but does logic come into it?!

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