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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
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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Good Morning, well after a lot of trying, weve decided to

Resolved Question:

Good Morning,
well after a lot of trying, we've decided to get a divorce. This obviously isn't a decision ta***** *****ghtly and comes after much consideration.
I'm not looking for the definitive legal assistance right now, I'm after just a quick indication of possibilities. We have two children from the marriage, one is 13 and the other almost 11 years old. I would like to have both children living with me and arrange visiting with my to be ex wife whenever either the children or she wishes. This is a complicated matter but in short, my wife suffered a period of mental illness in 2006 which meant that I was solely responsible for looking after the children for the period whilst she was in a clinic. Subsequently, although my wife is recovered the children and I all feel that we want to be together but naturally they would want to visit their mother - I would be happy with this. I realise that this question would need much consideration but I am wondering about what criteria would be considered for custody considerations. Furthermore, my wife is not currently employed and I understand that I would be required to pay maintenance to her - I wonder if it is possible to have an indication (percentage or ££) level of the amount that i would be likely to have to pay?
One potential complication is that my wife is a German citizen but obviously now resident in the UK and when we married, we both entered into a pre-nup (in Germany which was our country of residence at the time of marriage, we were married in Scotland in accordance with UK Law)- it's my understanding that this would not be legally binding in the UK.
Can anyone offer any advice at this stage?
Thanks in advance
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What assets and income are there and what does the Pre-nup say?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Clare,

thanks for your reply.

To address your questions:

1) There are only minimal assets - no house as we rent, one family car value approx £2000, another car values £5000 and then home contents which I would estimate at perhaps £10 - £15 thousand only.

2) Annual income is my salary only which is below £50,000

3) The pre-nup contains various provisions that govern several factors. Principally it provides for joint custody of any children in the event of a a divorce and that any divorce should be a "clean cut" - i.e. no provision for continued payments of maintenance one way or another.

I hope this information will help you, I can provide more specific detail on the Pre-nup if required but as this document is in German I would need some time to translate it (unless you can read German).

Thanks

Jason

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Who has the day to day care of the children at the moment?
Is your wife likely to contest the children living with you?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

currently it would be fair to say that my wife has the day to day care although this has varied. For example, during last year my wife worked for 3 months and during that time I had full care of the children and for the times I was not at home I employed a child minder - I would repeat this as required.

The result of discussions so far is that my wife will not contest the children living with me.

Thanks,

Jason

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What benefits does your wife receive and how much do you actually earn?
Clate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

currently she receives no benefits, my actual salary is £47,500 gross. to calculate my net you would have to bear in mind that I also pay £400 per month travel card loan repayment as I work in London and commute daily from Hastings.

Thanks,
Jason

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What benefits is she entitled to?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Clare,

that's a good question and not one that I can accurately answer.

Working on the basis and assumption that she would be entitled to claim for job seekers' allowance and housing benefits I think the sums involved would be:

JSA - £72.40 per week for a maximum period of 6 months

HB - £115 per week (rough calculation and without consideration of any potential maintenance payments - I used the Hastings Borough Council calculator to arrive at this sum)

Thanks,

Jason

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Given that there are no assets the pre-nup is basically irrelevant.
I am afraid that given your earnings and her mental health problems it is likely that you will be liable for spouse maintenance to some degree - although the fact that you have the care of the children will help to limit it.
The guide is the reasonable needs of your spouse set against her income from all sources - making it essential that you help her maximise her benefit income.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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