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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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I am seperated from my wife for 2 years now. She looks after

Customer Question

I am seperated from my wife for 2 years now. She looks after my 5 year old daughter. We are currently drawing up a draft consent order. I have agreed to give my wife a lump sum of £325k and "ongoing payments" of £1800 per month.
Her solicitor agreed this settlement in principal, by email. Now that she has drawn up the draft consent order, she has put the following clause in, that the monthly payments should continue, :
1.Until my daughter reaches the age of 21 years
2. until the petitioners re-marriage
I understood that the payments were due until 18 years of age? Do I have to pay until the child is 21??
Furthermore, can I insist that the payments should cease if the petitioner (my wife) is to co-habit with some one as opposed to have to marry?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Is this meant to be Child or Spouse maintenance?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm getting divorced so I have to maintain both, no?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
What income do you each have and how is the figure divided between your ex and the child?
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
Hello,The draft order that is being drawn up should reflect the agreement that you have already reached (whether that was by letter, email or in conversation) with your ex-wife's lawyer. That agreement should have specified how that £1800 is divided between a payment for the benefit of your ex-wife and a payment for the benefit of your wife (even though it would probably leave your bank account each month in one transfer). If the agreement did specify that, then that division is still open for negotiation.Turning to your two specific questions:1. The agreement you have should have specified the end date of the part if the monthly maintenance paid for your child. If it did not, it is still open for negotiation. 18 and 21 are two commonly agreed dates, as is a payment to 21, but reducing in amount from 18 onwards.2. A court would not impose the change about your ex-wife cohabiting, but that doesn't mean it couldn't go in by agreement. However, cohabitation is very difficult to prove, and it is often expensive to do so (for example what if her new partner has his own place, but hardly ever stays there). There's no harm in having such a clause but it's not worth overturning the whole agreement to try and get it in place now.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
It is clear that at this stage you are still agreeing the fine details of the overall settlement which means that there is still a lot to be negotiated - and the fact that the solicitor has arbitrarily put in 21 gives me cause for concern
So if you let me have the figures we can assess your risk!
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

Without wanting to disagree particularly with Claire, I don't think you have to be too
concerned, it's just that your negotations are not yet over. Don't let the solictor bully you into having 21 in the order rather than 18, there's no one single right answer to that.

Assuming that you are content with the £1,800 overall, then you just need to give some thought as to the split between your ex-wife and your child. The child maintenance will end automatically (at 18/21), while the maintenance for your wife is open-ended (but could potentiially end sooner than the child maintenance if your wife remarried).