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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34456
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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Madam, I divorced earlier this year after 7 years

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam,
I divorced earlier this year after 7 years of marriage. We have two boys of 6 and 4.
In terms of assets we split them the following by consent order
• House fully paid off which was split 60/40 in her favour (£360,000 to her) and (£230,000) to me.
• Child maintenance of £600 per month (£300 per child)
• 4 years spousal maintenance of £600 per month
• I kept my assets which was a field worth £20K and a trust fund worth £50K
This was based on her buying a property in Milton Keynes and home educating the children (her wish at the time)
She has now informed me that she has moved to France and moved in with a new boyfriend on a farm and intends to send the boys to school in France this September. Whilst I have no issue with the boys moving abroad as long as I get regular visits, I feel it is unfair to continue paying the spousal maintenance as her circumstances have changed and intend to stop paying it in September, do I have reasonable cause to do so?
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 ocntact have you been having and how will this continue?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Pre move - I had alternate weekends and one evening per week. This was never enforced by court order merely something that was agreed in mediation. The intention going forward would be approx 10 visits per year fitted around the French school year. (ie 3 days in half term, 1 week in summer holidays etc).

I suggested to her this weekend that rather that continue to pay the spousal maintenance after Sept, I would contribute £1000 per year as a 50% cost towards the schooling costs. From what I understand French schools do not require uniforms so I thought this was a reasonable figure. My thinking behind this was that she could buy a house (with the 350K) and rent it out earning at least £1200pm. She would also receive my child maintenance at £600, taking her income upto £1800. If she got a part time job (which she refuses to do) she should earn at least £500pm + potentially some tax credits. This would give her an income of £2300pm which wouldnt be too far away from mine £2500pm and living with someone else she would have almost zero outgoings, where as I would have my own household bills to pay.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - when does the Financial Order say that Spouse Maintenance should stop?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

It was a 4 year agreement, started Sept 2014 and is due to finish Sept 2018.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Does it say anything about Co-habitation?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I dont believe so.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If your ex is cohabiting then you can apply to the court for the Spouse maintenance Order to be dismissed and in the circumstance sit is likely to be successful.
You could insist that the children are returned to the Uk whilst the court decides whether or not the move to France is in their best interests, should you wish to do so
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

How much is it likely to cost me to take this through the court process?

Thanks

Paul

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you mean the dismissal of the Spouse Maintenance - or the matters regarding the children.
If the former that if you deal with the matter yourself the cost will be the Court fee - £245.
Clare