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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33023
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife and I separated last July and our two children 8 &

Customer Question

My wife and I separated last July and our two children 8 & 9 live with her but stay at my house (our old home) two or three times a week. I have a good job with nett monthly income of around £3,700. Of this however there is £2,000 which I pay to cover mortgage and all utilities and policies. In addition I give my wife each month £750 to cover her rent of £675 plus I also pay £108 off her credit card each month and a further £28 gym subscription. In total it amounts to just under £900 per month. I also have minimum payments on my credit cards of approx £400 per month which means I have final NETT income to buy food, clothes, pay insurances etc of around £350 per month. My wife in addition to her monthly NETT income of approx £1,000 has the £900 that I pay and then child support etc of approx £1,100 which means she has total NETT income of just over £3,000 per month. Taking into consideration her standard outgoings of approx £1,000 per month this has left her in a position where she is now able to live a somewhat affluent lifestyle in terms of weekends away, lavish presents for friends etc. I don't begrudge giving my children anything but I feel as if my contribution of almost £900 especially in light of commitments with the existing property is somewhat excessive. If possible I would appreciate an indication of what figure I should be paying. Many Thanks John Tibbs
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist but I do need some further information first.
May I ask why she has moved out rather than you and is she likely to push to return?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

My wife has a somewhat fiery and strong character compared to myself and our relationship over the years had become somewhat volatile. Unaware to myself last year she had sought rented accomodation about one mile from where we live and completely out of the blue last July informed me that she was taking the children to go and live at this other accomodation.


A brief history is that my previous wife passed away in 2000 and that my current wife was in 2001 invited to come and live with myself and my step son. Subsequently we moved into our current home into a new area in 2003. My step son now lives in Scotland with his blood relatives. My wife has a volatile nature and recently has been seeing a psycholgist and is on a course of anti depressants associated with suicidal tendancies. For this reason alone I am reluctant to upset her.


The situation is that financially I am struggling to support both properties. Initially we are reluctant to sell the main home as we are tied into a long term mortgage with significant penalties for early redemption.I am committed 100% in supporting the children however because of the substantial commitments we have to pay each month I find myself in a situation which as I mentioned previously that I am unable to provide any luxuries to the children whereas my wife now seems to be living a lavish lifestyle of weekends away in hotels and even commented that she had not been so well off.

Ideally what I am seeking is a ball park figure of what I should be paying each month to my wife as currently I am finding myself in a situation where I literally have no life because I cannot afford to do anything.

I think she is unlikely to return as she has spent a lot of money in the rented property furnishing it to a high standard and recently she has discussed both a divorce and the sale of the property in question.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What you legally have to pay is child maintenance - 20% of your net pay subject to a deduction for the nights that the children spend with you.
This will move to a lower percentage of your gross pay when the new regulations roll out in the next few months (I cannot be more specific as the government has not been)
You can calculate how much you should be paying here
Whilst there is always the possibility of your ex seeking spouse maintenance on the current figures it is unlikely that she woudl receive any whilt you are shouldering the matrimonial debt.
I hope that this is of assistance to you but feel free to ask for clarification and information if need be

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