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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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I separated from Anita my now ex-wife in Sep 2010 with a

Customer Question

Hi - I separated from Anita my now ex-wife in Sep 2010 with a decree absolute granted in Mar 2011, with a financial settlement reached in Feb 2012. We have two children (currently aged 10 1/2 and 13 1/2)
In broad terms the settlement was that she kept the house (subject to a £50k equity transfer to me) and that I would pay child support and an additional maintenance of £600/month. All periodic support to cease on the date of my sons 18th birthday.
This left Anita with circa £200k equity in the house and an income of £1200 per month and me renting with around £25k equity after legal bills.
Subsequent to this, Anita relocated to Brighton (from York) Easter 2014 and has been co-habiting with a her new partner since (they were in a relationship from around the point of our separation although this was not material to our separation). Her new partner is independently wealthy and bought a home for them all to live in within Brighton.
I then moved jobs and relocated to Crawley (~20 miles from Brighton) and am still renting.
My income has increased from circa £65k in Yorkshire to circa £100k in London - however in net cash terms this is not significantly different to Yorkshire due to additional costs of rent and commuting in London.
I also understand independently that Anita is currently working as a teaching assistant whereas in York she claimed to not be able to work due to child care obligations. I do not know her income level but this would appear to be in the £12k - £18k range from some google searches - the more material thing is the co-habitation.
It would appear to me that the circumstances have changed almost completely from that envisaged when we agreed the financial order - given the above circumstances what likelihood do you feel there would be of reducing/terminating the periodic payments element of our original settlement?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What is the exact wording for when the spouse maintenance should end?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
point three in the consent order (file attached) - references section 23(1) of matrimonial causes act 1973. There is also point J in the introduction which says that we didnt intend for any variation unless she earned more than 50% of annual average wage (currently this appears to be about £27k so she may be around that threshold - but my understanding is that this section is non-binding and in any event the reason for a variation would be related to co-habitation not earnings)
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Clare - I was wondering if you had any feedback? The question is currently shown as answered but this doesnt seem to be the case.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Clare?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Clare - are you able to respond to this or should I raise a request for a refund?

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