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Paying child maintenance, half the mortgage and bills (4 Posts)
Started By:
23 February, 2018 05:58PM
Paying child maintenance, half the mortgage and bills
emb123 - 23 February, 2018 05:58PM
Hi all,

I have moved out of my family home. I have 2 kids under 7 years old and we have been married for 10 years. My wife and I have a joint mortgage and we have another property which pays for itself as it is rented out.

It is likely that one of us will be filing for a divorce very soon but I am not sure what I am obligated to pay (in terms of maintenance)
For example, my wife has insisted that I pay half of the bills, half of the mortgage and child maintenance. This would probably add up to around £1,300 - £1,400 per month. I am paid £2,000 after tax so this would leave me with around £600-700.

I am staying at a friends house for now so I am only paying them £200 per month for the room, plus I need to contribute to bills and pay for my own food etc. I also need to pay for my car insurance and tax.

I have contacted the CSA and they advised me I would need to pay 400pcm for the maintenance of my 2 kids and I completely appreciate that the mortgage is in both of our names so I guess I would need to pay that also? but in these circumstances is it normal to also pay for half of the bills?

Lastly, my wife does earn more than me but she works less hours so there is potential for her to earn more by doing more hours but I would much prefer that she continues with her current hours as she can spend more time with the kids.

If I were to pay for half of the bills and mortgage and also pay child maintenance then she would be left with around 1,200 - 1,300 and I would be left with 0 at the end of each month.

Your comments and advice would be appreciated.
Re: Paying child maintenance, half the mortgage and bills
davidterry - 23 February, 2018 06:12PM
If you no longer live at the property then in these circumstances you do not have a separate obligation to pay the mortgage and bills. You do have an obligation to pay child and, possibly, spousal maintenance. From her various sources of income including the child maintenance she receives from you, child benefit, her own income etc your wife should pay the mortgage and bills on the former matrimonial home.

The fact is that your respective financial needs have to be balanced. It is not a question of one spouse receiving more or less all the income and the other being left to scratch around to survive. This double counting is common but there is not a separate liability to pay child maintenance and the mortgage. Child maintenance is intended to maintain a child and that includes paying for the child's accommodation which is precisely what the mortgage payments are in these circumstances.

Incidentally, if you have moved out of the matrimonial home it is in your interest to get a divorce and settle the financial issues formally and finally as soon as you can. You should not sit on your hands. Your wife has no incentive to hurry if she is occupying the matrimonial home and you are in effect paying her to be there. In order to address your own reasonable future needs you should be addressing a divorce now rather than waiting for your wife. You do not need your wife's permission or co-operation in order to have a divorce.
Re: Paying child maintenance, half the mortgage and bills
emb123 - 24 February, 2018 06:08PM
Thank you for your comments David, this definitely gives me more confidence when taking the next steps.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
Re: Paying child maintenance, half the mortgage and bills
divorcedatlast - 25 February, 2018 03:14PM
I think David has given you all the advice you need.

Your wife works and is capable of supporting herself and the children. Pay your maintenance as calculated by the CMS and start divorce proceedings as soon as you can. You will need to provide a suitable home for the children to spend time with you during any arranged contact, that cannot be done with £700 a month. Be mindful that, without question, your wife will tell you otherwise, she will definitely say “my solicitor said...” don’t listen to this. You are obliged to pay maintenance, that is it. Divorce is hard, avoid confrontation with each other if you can, try mediation and above all keep legal costs down. Do as much negotiating as you can away from the solicitor. Sites like this will give you a wealth of knowledge to assist. Stay strong!
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