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Ex wife now wants to claim spousal maintenance (2 Posts)
Started By:
26 April, 2017 11:09PM
Ex wife now wants to claim spousal maintenance
Molly - 26 April, 2017 11:09PM
My partner has just got to the decree nisi stage of his divorce and learnt yesterday that his ex wife has now appointed a solicitor with a view to claiming spousal maintenance from his wages. He had thought that they had come to an amicable agreement about finances so this has come as a bit of a surprise.

The basic facts are
Marital home is owned outright and ex wife still lives there with their youngest daughter (age 26 and working full time)
Ex wife (age 68) is retired with state pension and teachers pension

My partner lives with me having moved out of former marital home about 8 months ago / I own my property outright so no mortgage or rent to be paid.

He has reached retirement age (age 65) but has chosen to keep on working for the foreseeable future; he has also started to claim his state pension and has other private pensions which he has not yet started claiming.

He currently still pays some of the household bills for their home (council tax / water rates/ telephone, tv & broadband and home insurance) but has passed the responsibility for gas and electricity to his wife and daughter; he was trying to do the reasonable thing and pass these to them gradually but was not necessarily intending to pay them all long term.

I guess the current question is would she be entitled to claim spousal maintenance and if so how is the level of spousal maintenance arrived at......clearly his wife has an income of her own which she should contribute to the household expenditure and I guess the daughter should be expected to make a reasonable contribution to the household as she lives there too.

Is the first step to look at the likely expenditure required to maintain a current / reasonable standard of living or is there some other formula used to come to a figure. ....am not sure how co-operative his wife is going to be in the process so could be quite drawn out.....will they be expected to attend mediation to come to an agreement / is mediation the best route....what if she refuses to attend this.....

One final matter to throw in the mix.....once divorced my partner does intend to marry again....does this have any impact on any of the above and how far down the line of sorting all this out do we have to be before taking that step......

I know that is an awful lot of questions but any help would be much appreciated.....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26/04/2017 11:11PM by Molly.
Re: Ex wife now wants to claim spousal maintenance
davidterry - 29 April, 2017 02:06PM
>>I guess the current question is would she be entitled to claim spousal maintenance and if so how is the level of spousal maintenance arrived at...

That very much depends what he earns. If, say, he earns £100 pa and his wife only has income from a state pension then he should certainly expect to pay spousal maintenance. The amount of spousal maintenance is a balance between the available income and the respective needs of both parties. There is no fixed formula.

Having said that, her husband is past retirement age so any spousal maintenance should be strictly limited to the point at which he does retire. Thereafter the incomes of each should be comprised of their pension income and that will probably involve making a pension sharing order in favour of his wife so that they each have approximately the same pension income (since this is obviously a long marriage).

Your partner has made a mistake by moving in with you before the financial issues arising from the marriage have been formally and finally settled. His wife is likely to say that his housing needs have been met because he is living with you. Therefore she will say that she is entitled to most of the capital from the marriage in order to satisfy her housing needs. If he had not moved in with you or your relationship broke down he could quite legitimately have said that is housing needs were the same as hers.
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