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Ask Clare Your Own Question
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 pay spousal maintenance of £470pm. This was set 10 years

Resolved Question:

I pay spousal maintenance of £470pm. This was set 10 years ago when my ex wife wasnt working. She is now earning 40kpa - should I have to keep paying ??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Is this subject to a court order?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes it is, but I think it should be reviewed and stopped as it seems a crazy situation that i should have to continue paying this as well as £700pm child maintenance.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
At the time that the Order was made was there any discussion about her employment prospects?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. The judge awarded her £470pm FOR LIFE, to keep her in the manner to which she had become accustomed ?! I am now retired ( 60 years old ) and my only income is £3500pm net from a company pension - out of this £3500 I am paying 31200 in child/spousal maintenance ! Ex wife now working and earning £1300pm net, £1200 pm from me, £500 pm from benefits, and £300 from a house rental ie £3300 pm net which equates to some £55000 grosspa which is twice the National Salary Average !
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What was the Capital settlement and was there a Pension Sharing Order?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
£400k to me; £350k to her. When I met her, 10 years previously, I had 500k and she had -£2000 !! The child maintenance thing I understand, even though she walked out of the marriage ( no affairs etc ), but the Spousal maintenance is really annoying. What i have read all points to at least a major reduction should be in order if not stopped completely, but every time I get in front of a judge, I never get the impression that they are thinking on the same wave length as me. There was no pension sharing order.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
How old is/are the child/children
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Katie is 17, Tom is 11.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Was this a Consent Order or after a full hearing - and if the last then what did the judge say about the actual settlement
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was after a full hearing. Basically the judge awarded Johanne 350k and me 400k with me having to pay 20% of my net pension ( that was £530pm, but is now £700) and awarded her £470 spousal maintenance for life. When the figs were set, Katie was only 8 and Tom was only 18 months old, and she wasn't working. I know lots of men who are divorced and NONE of them jhave ever paid Spousal Maintenance. This gravy train HAS to come to an end. We've been divorced 10 years !
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Were you already in receipt of your pension at that time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I was. My ex wife left me 9 days after I received 200k in redundancy and my first pension payment - what a co incidence !
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What is your capital position now (sadly it IS relevant)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have circa £200k in cash and a mortgage free house.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Can you just confirm what you ex is actually EARNING from her job - and could she improve that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is earning some 20k from her job - Im not sure whether she could improve that or not. She also earns £3800pa from a rented house, £6000 pa from Benefits ( ie child allowance and tax credits ) and £14000 pa from me re maintenance.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
My concern is the absence of any specific Pension Sharing Order it may be that the Court saw this lifetime Spouse Maintenance orderas a way of dealing with her claim on your Pension.However that does NOT mean that it is not possible to challenge this - and to apply for a Downward Variation on the basis that her financial positionhas improved - she is working AND she has Rental Income.Do be aware however that there is a possibility that the "cost" will be a further final Lump Sum payment.I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further detailsClare
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