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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 895
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My minute of agreement stipulated a percentage of

Resolved Question:

Hello
My minute of agreement stipulated a percentage of my net income at that time (2005)
If afterwards I develop an additional income am I obliged to include that as net income for maintenance purposes?
S
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your question. I am a Solicitor and I will try and help you.
Please could I ask:
1) Are you referring to Child Maintenance ?
2) was there an Order made?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Caroline
Minute of agreement for child/spousal maintenance of 25% of my net income for first 5 years, 20% thereafter until children (2) complete their education incl university
Since the minute of agreement was signed I have in effect taken additional earnings from secondary employment (relatively small amount each year)
In your opinion am I obliged to include that in my net income under the terms of the minute of agreement signed in 2005?
Regards
Stuart
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Stuart
Sorry one more question - the 'minute of agreement' you refer too - was this recorded in a court order and sealed and approved by the court?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, was drawn up with help of legal advice from both parties
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response. My apologies for my delay in responding.
I am a little confused - this is not your fault! I am just trying to establish if you have signed a legally binding document and at the moment I am really not sure if you have. This effects my advice to you so I need to get to the route of it.
Please can I ask -
1) were you married?
2) if so - were you divorced?
3) if you were divorced are you sure that there wasnt a court order (sealed (as in stamped) and approved by the court in relation to matrimonial finances) ?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes married for 11years
Have signed a legally binding contract or 'minute of agreement'
Financially separated not actually divorced
I have a regular salary from the NHS around which the percentages of net income were derived
Since the separation I have taken on extra work in my own time
My accountant has advised me that this additional income falls out with the minute of agreement as is not part of my regular salary
Can you give an opinion as to this?
Stuart
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response. I note that you are separated but not divorced.
I note that when you separated - you took legal advice and subsequently signed a separation agreement. Separation agreements are contracts between separating spouses. Courts are likely to follow the Separation Agreement, if it was entered into by both parties:
With the benefit of legal advice;
After the exchange of full and frank financial disclosure; and
There has been no significant change of circumstances, which would render the agreement unfair.
Having said the above (and hopefully clarifying to you that what you signed and when you signed it was intended as a legal contract) the question is the interpretation of the agreement in relation to your net income. I note that your accountant considers that your extra income is not part of the agreement as it is work that you have taken on since. Your ex may quite well take a different interpretation. I am sorry to say but there is no easy answer when it comes to interpretation. If the agreement you signed specifically stated that it related to your NHS wages only then you could be certain that any other income wouldn't be included. If the agreement just says 'net' and doesn't limit to your NHS wage only then your ex could argue that this was meant to include any other wage in the future. It is important to read the wording very carefully.
The question then is what your ex could do about this if she disagrees with your interpretation. To enforce the separation agreement she would have to sue you for breach of contract. If the court agreed then they could award her damages (money) to her to compensate for the breach, or could even order specific performance (make you perform their side of the contract)
Kind Regards
Caroline
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