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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
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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I recall a recent proposed alteration to the length of maintenance

Customer Question

I recall a recent proposed alteration to the length of maintenance payments to spouses. Since I have a payment record of over 16 years after legal separation, has this matter now been put on the legislative back burner???
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.
Just to check - you are asking if there has been any change in the law regarding Spouse Maintenance?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

sorry for late response, needed to travel to a funeral, just got back this evening.

Recently I was made aware that a working party was reviewing the laws governing divorce and maintenance awards. My situation is complicated by the refusal of my wife to finalise a divorce without reopening the settlement agreement made to her under the courts legal separation process.

In the intervening 16 year separation, her legal advisers have petitioned twice to improve the monthly Tax free amount payable.

In each case not only have the claims been rejected by the courts but on each occasion the maintenance amount was reduced. The lady was found to have attempted creative accountancy measures to cover her earnings and subsequent pension allowances over the years.

I was retired on a medical discharge before the initial separation order and have been unable to return to employment. The company pension was my source of income until I reached 65 years of age when I received the State pension.

The lady herself has now reached 70 years of age,still working and contributing to a pension scheme.

I hoped that if a revision of the duration of maintenance payments is likely to set a time limit to maintenance payments, then this might assist in reducing y outlay with out wasting further court time. I hope that this additional information will help you to review my request

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
May I just ask - how far has the divorce reached?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

the divorce is stalemate!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I refuse to renegotiate a further cash settlement the Lady refuses to divorce. under the terms of the courts legal separation, if I predecease her then she believes she will receive my pension.

My Partner and I co habit under the terms of "Tenants in Common" due to this no divorce stalemate

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Has a divorce petition actually been issued?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

a divorce petition has not been filed since my then legal advisor was of the opinion that to reopen the basis of the legal separation agreement would be a futile and costly measure. The Phrase "not a penny more" could be justified

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Which part of the Uk are you in?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I live in North Yorkshire.

My full address is:-

XXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXX XXXXXX

Tel. XXXXXX

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Was there a Court Judicial Separation?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

The legal separation was made in the County Court in Harrogate around 1999. I don't have the exact date to hand but if needed

I could try delving into some paperwork In my possession.

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What are your respective incomes at present?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

the income balance has been the bone of contention throughout.

Whilst my income has always been transparent, the sums involved on the other side have not been so open.

The courts have twice reduced the tax free sum and now is £240 per calender month. This was the result of the increases in earnings from the employments undertaken since the award at the initial separation order.

The enquiry I made to you was not so much about the amount I still pay, rather that the principle of ongoing support is less justifiable after such a long period. Particularly in my view since there is the pension issue I have already outlined to you.

Clearly what seemed a straightforward answer at the start of this enquiry is complex.

I thank you for your interest but I guess the Stalemate must continue, and to incur more costs at this time cannot be supported.

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alan
Actually I see no reason why you should not Petition for a divorce based on the fact that you have lived apart for more than five years.
You do not need her agreement to do this or even her co-operation
Yes your ex may well then try and make a further financial application but you have won the last two and there is no reason to think that the next will be any different - and it will give you the chance to bring this to an end once and for all
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

thanks for advice, my main concern is whether the divorce would mean my ex no longer has first call on my pension. I need to clarify with my pensions people if they will accept that as she will no longer be my "Spouse" then that will allow for my partner to be safeguarded.

I am torn between proceeding and leaving the status Quo. It would in my view resolved should the period for maintenance payments be redefined.

I can understand you imply this is not likely in the near future.

Just how risky and protracted in your experience divorce proceedings be both for me and me not wishing to cause my son any further angst?????????

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The divorce proceedings will be relatively straightforward.
There is no defence - and she will not be able to use the argument that no financial provision has been made since it clearly at this stage she is financially secure - and in any event if she wishes to consider a settlement then an application cam be made to the court.
The process shoudl take no more than six to eight months
- possibly less
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you once again for your advice, I intend to go ahead with divorce proceedings. Are you in a position to guide/ process the requirements?. I'm not at all clear whether there is a commitment to continue through "Just Answer" or if you can act for me in this matter and bill me for the service directly.

I feel I need to get over the festive season and make 2015 a new start for me.

Please detail how we should proceed and perhaps outline a cost basis.

In the meantime have a Merry Xmas

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
We do have to continue to work through Just answer - but I may be able to offer additional services as and when you need them
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

thanks for letting me know the arrangements with Just Answer,so sorry if I put you in a compromise position.

I will now today unsubscribe from the website, as further expenditure is not going to help in this way.

Thanks once again for the reassurances provided.

Yours Aye

Alan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare

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