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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My son and his wife separated in July 2013 as a result of her,

Resolved Question:

My son and his wife separated in July 2013 as a result of her, admitted, extra marital affair. They have three children 12, 10 and 7. She was the "breadwinner" he was primary career for the children and effectively a house husband. She agreed to pay the mortgage on the marital home and has gone to live with her new partner.

To minimize the impact on the children he agreed that she should have equal access to the children who spend alternate weekends with each of the parents and an equal number of nights over a fortnight. There is nothing in writing, thus far this is an informal arrangement. Her income is circa £40K her new partner circa £45K my son's £14K.

She has stopped paying the mortgage and pays £160 a month in maintenance which CSA have indicated is the correct figure given the children spend equal time with each parent.

The question (s):- Can she be required to continue to pay the mortgage or at least a % of it; is £160 the correct figure; is there any reason why the existing arrangement should not be changed so he has the children for a greater part of the week? Apart from any other consideration the children are not comfortable with the wife's partner.

The parties are considering mediation but my son is concerned that not knowing what his exact position is in law could lead him to agree to something less than might be secured if they went to court.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Are the shared care arrangements working?
Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


£215,000 just been valued for sale and £20K unencumbered, shared care working fine except children would prefer to be with dad more of the time.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - do you mean the equity is £20,000?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the equity is is cira £26K but they each have debts secured against the property of a total, I think, of £6K

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have the CSA actually completed an assessment?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


My son contacted the CSA they contacted his wife after which she started paying him £196 a month. He does not know if they have completed an assessment, he has nothing in writing from them. Nor does he know if the £196 is a figure they "instructed" should be paid or was agreed by her with them.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When did he first contact them?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

First contact was August, September 2013. She was paying mortgage CSA said "You wouldn't get much more than that anyway, if your happy with that then accept it".


 


He went back to them in early February when the first mortgage payment was missed.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are the number of nights the children spend with each of them exactly divided?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Over a fortnight yes

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That is a potential problem.
Under the OLD CSA rules even with a 50/50 split it was still possible for one parent to claim Child maintenance
Under the new rules where there is a 50/50 split then maintenance is not payable
So whilst the figure appears low it would be unwise to challenge it whilst the division is still 50/50
However the difference in their incomes means that your son has a potential claim for Spouse maintenance - and half of the mortgage would be a reasonable compromise
I do have to say that the current arrangements for the children do not seem child centred and may need reconsidering
If the balance does move in favour of your son then his ex will need to pay 16% of her Gross income subject to a one seventh discount for each night of the week up to three a week they spend with their mother
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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