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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 757
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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HiI am in the process of separating and my wife and I have

Customer Question

Hi
I am in the process of separating and my wife and I have two children aged 12 and 8. my wife does not work and I have tried to suggest I will have the kids every weekend. However she insists I will have to have them some days during the week. This would compromise my job and ability to support them. I think she is just being difficult but can this be enforced?
Also what spousal maintenance would she be entitled to and for how long? She will claim she is unwell and can't work, but I can't pay spousal maintenance indefinitely. I have suggested she would be entitled to the government calculated child maintenance, but she is threatening to take half of my salary. I am trying to be fair. What could she realistically be expected to receive? We have a mortgage on a property at the moment and have been married 13 years.
KInd Regards
Parent trying to make the best for his kids
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
In relation to your children - it is the courts view that children are entitled to have a good relationship with both parents. It is important to agree a schedule with your wife in respect of when your children will spend time with both of you. Children do benefit from a routine.
Your wife cannot force you to care for your children during the week - if you have work commitments. Equally you must be aware that weekends are considered 'quality time' and therefore it is important that your wife also spends some weekends with your children. Perhaps you could offer to take the children for tea on a weekday evening - if this is possible with your work. An arranged telephone call can also be considered.
If a schedule can't be agreed - then meditation is a good first step. If matters still can't be agreed then an application can be made to court for a child arrangement order. Form C100 to Local Family Court. Court Fee is £215. You can't make an application to the court until you have attempted mediation first. Courts prefer parents to try and agree amicably.
The Child Maintenance Service has Jurisdiction in respect of child maintenance.
They have a useful calculator on their website which you can use to get an estimate in respect of your liability.
In relation to spousal maintenance - your wife could seek to claim - if she issued divorce proceedings.
Unlike child maintenance- there is no strict formula that applies. In broad terms - it is calculated by balancing the income and earning capacity of both of you, against your needs and taking into account all the circumstances of your case.
Mediation is a very good idea - as with children cases - the courts will reject applications if mediation has not been attempted first.
If your both not ready to divorce - then mediation can also help you both agree a separation agreement- setting out the terms and what support will be provided.
Kind regards
Caroline
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Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi

Is regard to spousal maintenance i appreciate there is no formula, but is there some sort of guide that could give an indication of what percentage of my net income could be paid as spousal maintenance? I am also concerned that as my wife will claim to be unfit for work, she will expect me to contribute to any shortfall in income she would deem to need to survive on. I keep hearing her stating she will need to have sufficient money to keep her and the children living in they way they are accustomed to no mater what this means for me? Is there any guidance on this?

Is the child maintenance calculator a good assessment of what i would be due to pay, or could it be significantly different?

Can spousal maintenance be replaced with an agreed one off settlement and if so what would be a reasonable agreement?

Finally, when agreeing to share the value of our assets would an even split of the assets be deemed reasonable or would i be expected to receive a lesser share than half as my wife does not work?

KInd Regards

Ashley

Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ashley
Thank you for your responses.
In relation to spousal maintenance- there really is no rule in relation to percentages of your income. When dealing with the matrimonial finances - it will depend on the assets available to be able to meet needs. If there is sufficient assets then spousal maintenance could be minimal. Your wife simply can't say that she is unfit to work indefinitely- courts will expect her to support herself as far as possible and it won't reflect well on her if she decides to give up work just for the purpose of trying to maximise a claim against you.
Spousal maintenance can be capitalised into a lump sum.
In relation to the matrimonial finances - The correct process for dealing with the matrimonial finances and division is to go through a process known as full and frank financial disclosure. Yourself and your wife would need to exchange full details of all assets ( including pensions) and liabilities before negotiations take place in relation to settlement. Everything is included in disclosure - all assets and all liabilities.
The normal rule for division is 50/50 however the matrimonial causes act sets out factors which could lead to a departure from this rule. A few examples are the likely earning capacity of both of you for the future, health needs, future care of children etc. It is likely that your wife will seek between 10 - 20 more if she is going to be taking on the main role as carer for your children and if her earning capacity is less than yours.
You should consider making a referral to a specialist mediation service. They can assist in relation to the process of disclosure and also in relation to negotiations about division. One such mediation service is the National Family Mediation service. www.nfm.org.uk
If agreement cannot be reached or your wife won't engage in providing full and frank disclosure then an application would need to be made to the court. You can not make an application to the court until you have at least attempted mediation first.
It is very important that no division of any assets takes place until a court order is obtained.
If division is agreed without the need to apply to court then you should submit a consent order for Judicial approval prior to division and obtaining decree absolute. Not doing so could leave you open for a future claim. Claims have been entertained by the courts decades after divorce / separation - so it is important that you deal with things properly.
A Solicitor can help you draft the Consent Order to protect your position for the future usually for around £300.
The Child Maintenance Service calculator is a very good indicator of what child maintenance should be paid. There is unlikely to be a noticeable difference if a full application is made.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Please kindly remember to rate positively No credit is received for our work unless positive feedback is received.
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 757
Experience: Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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