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Ask Clare Your Own Question
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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, I am a single mother (62) just going through

Customer Question

Hello, I am a single mother (62) just going through mediation with my ex husband and cannot get the right advice as my circumstances are unusual. Our two sons are both on max DLA (autistic) and reside with me. I need to know whether any spousal maintenance will be added to my monthly income, as I reply completely on Income Support, and cannot afford to lose this help. I have been needing this benefit for the past two years, since we separated. My husband has not given us any help, either financial or otherwise up to this date. Can you please advise me what is in our best interest please. Thank you very much - Mrs Marilyn XXXXXXX

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.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there and what income do you each have?
What support is in place for your sons?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clare, all the assets were split amicably 2 years ago. It was a 75/25% split (as I had the boys to rehouse) the actual sums were £63.000 to £ 21,000. I used this to buy a 1/3 rd share in a key worker home as I am a full time carer. My husband has used his money to buy a house with his new partner his mortgage is £160,000. His salary is £49,000 pa, and I live on benefits which add up to £225 per month. If he gives me £300 per month, will this be added to my income, and therefore will I lose my allowances.
I have no support in place for my sons, only my estate in my Will, which is the share in the Shared Ownership house.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old are the boys and what benefits do they receive?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My sons ae 22 nd 24 yeas old and have DLA max (£411 each per month) ESA £240 each per month. I use the DLA money to pay for the rent and bills , and the other ESA money is used for their food and clothes etc. I have been married for 24 years, and put £180,000 into the marriage from inheritances, although I could not work.
My husband came to the marriage with nothing. I gave up my career to have the boys and was earning £20,000 24 years ago. I hope this helps Clare.
Thanks, Marilyn
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the name of the benefits that you receive?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The benefits I receive per month are Carers allowance £240,, Housing Benefit £186, Income Support £33.28, Council Tax £150.00. That is all.
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Would a capital lump sum be of any use to you?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely Clare, my car needs replacing asap, and I must have transport. Also, I have no savings at all for emergencies. I need a panic button system as I have had cancer 4 years ago, and am sometimes unsteady. There are many things we need and a lump sum would be a real help - but I have absolutely no idea what to ask for, and no one seems to be able to help me. I know from reading on line that there are rules about savings if you are on Income Support, but how they are used I don't know.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old is your ex and what is his pension position?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My ex is 51 and has 4 pensions that are about 2 years old each, plus the current pension he is paying into now, which is 3 years old. A while ago, he offered these 4 small peneions for our sons, but now he has met someone I think he will not keep that promise. He also said we could have his Life Ins worth about £130,000 but has since named her as the beneficiary. She works at the moment and I thought that she would have to contribute to his income, but he says that he'll ask her to give up work.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Clare, I have to put my sons to bed and that usually takes an hour. Do you want to continue, or begin again tomorrow (I usually stay up until 2am).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK Clare, I am free again now to talk with you if you are still working.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did he not pay into a pension whilst you were living together?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Clare, Yes he has always paid into a pension plan, but has changed jobs every two years or so. The mediator wants him to bring the up to date price of each of them next Thursday when we meet up again. This is my problem, I have no idea what is fair given our long marriage, his alcholoism and eventual break up of our marriage, As a wife, I was always supportive, understanding and he cannot day otherwise, I just need to know what I can expect from him, without losing my essential benefits.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clare, are you there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clare, are you working today?
I have answered all your queries, and have not yet had a response.
Thanks, Marilyn
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
My expert was called Clare, but she naver came back to me to answer my question. I need to know what to do next. Can someone else help me if Clare is not there pls?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay - I have been off line
Given the length of the marriage the starting point for the division of the assets including his pension is 50/50.
On top of that you are eligible for spouse maintenance because of the special circumstances of your sons.
However you have already received 75% of the equity which could be seen as "buying out" your share of his pension leaving only spouse maintenance
However Spouse maintenance will inevitable impact on your benefits income and it is unlikely that your ex would pay sufficient to make that irrelevant
That being the case if your ex is willing to raise a further lump sum then that may be your best option
You will of course face a problem there as well as the savings limit for Income Support is £8.000.
Obviously if there is capital expenditure that you need to make instantly then that is fine if not then one option could be a series of lump sum payments over a period of years
Obviously you will have to fit this to your actual needs - but that is a possible way forward
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Clare, I now need to know, bearing in mind what you have told me, whether Child Maintenance payments every month would be better than Spousal maintenance, that is if my two sons are considered children (they can never work to support themselves). Also, are you figures capital /income support in your last answer from the UK, as I thought that the threshold was £6,000 - £16,000, but was not sure.
Thanks
Marilyn Catling
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your problem is that your sons actually each have an income of £651 a month in their own right.
That being the case it is unlikely in the extremes that a Court would order any payments towards their care
Accordingly your best option is a form of Spouse maintenance or a lump sum payment
My apologies - I did indeed use an old figure for the income Support allowance so in fact a series of £6,000 lump sums would be more advantageous
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Clare for a good up to date view on my situation. I am far more confident going into my mediation now.
For another question.
What if anything, can I do if my ex deliberately reduces his monthly income by encouraging his new partner not to work at all. Is this legal? If it is, how does a person keep a track if the partner stops work for a while until the divorce, then continues to work. How would I know, and what could I do?
Thanks
Marilyn CAtling
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You have no claim on the income of his new partner - it is NOT relevant to the issue at all
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, and yet in the UK my solicitor said that if his partner works, then her income will definitely be counted as part of the income of the household - just as my sons income, even though they are benefits are added to my benefits to total the monthly income.
If she that is soon to be his wife earns the same salary as he does -surely this makes a big difference to his joint income?
Thanks
Marilyn
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but I have no idea why your solicitor said that (and I am a solicitor in the East Midlands)
The issue is not one of household incomes as such
Your household income is important since your reasonable needs need to be met - the income of his partner is only relevant if he is claiming that he is supporting her
Clare

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