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Spousal Maintenance (4 Posts)
Started By:
28 January, 2018 02:49AM
Spousal Maintenance
FlyingDutchman - 28 January, 2018 02:49AM

I'm about to file for divorce and have a question about spousal maintenance / clean break.

Our marriage lasted 9 years, followed by 2 years separation.
We have two children - 7 and 5 years old - they live with me since we have separated (it's court ordered and won't change in foreseeable future).
My wife doesn't work now (her own choice), but haven't requested any maintenance during separation.
I earn £30K.
We have no assets to divide, no property, only substantial amount of debts, all in my name.

Would the judge insist on some spousal maintenance or is there a chance for clean break? After paying rent and living expenses, there is no disposable income left...

Thanks in advance.
Re: Spousal Maintenance
davidterry - 28 January, 2018 05:52PM
If you have the care of the two children it is hard to see how on this income you could afford to pay substantive spousal maintenance to you wife. And, although she may not be able to pay it in principle she has a child maintenance liability. If your wife has a genuine earning capacity she will be expected to use it. This would all be very different if the children were living with your wife but it seems they are not.
Re: Spousal Maintenance
FlyingDutchman - 28 January, 2018 06:21PM
Thanks David.
My wife used to work part-time, but there is no reason for her not to find a full-time job.
As the children will get a bit older, I want to work more and to achieve my pre-marriage earnings of £80K-£100K. However, I'm reluctant to share it.
My concern is whether it is possible to cut all financial ties between us while she is not working?
Is there any safe time frame after divorce when it's better not to increase the earnings?
Re: Spousal Maintenance
davidterry - 29 January, 2018 10:22AM
>>My concern is whether it is possible to cut all financial ties between us while she is not working?

It is possible, yes, although whether your wife will agree is another matter. At present you earn £30K, she earns nothing and the marriage lasted 9 years. If she was awarded nominal maintenance (say £0.05 a year or something of that nature) she could go back to the court at any time while that order lasted to ask for it to be increased if your earnings increased significantly. In these circumstances it is quite possible that a court might think a nominal maintenance order was appropriate. It is hard to tell. One court might lean one way, another in the other. Unless you can agree a clean break settlement it is a risk.
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