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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34886
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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My husband and I separated last April. He earns £40 000 a year,

Customer Question

My husband and I separated last April. He earns £40 000 a year, I earn £6900. He gives me £500 a month for our two children ( the eldest is his step-child I receive no maintence from his father) My husband now says he can't afford to give me the money as his cost of living alone is higher than he thought. We both had our own houses before going into the marriage. He has now gone back to live at his house which is 20 miles away. He sees the children every Wednesday night and every other weekend. Any extra contact he asks for I say yes too apart from when I get abusive text messages from him then they are cancelled but he still see them on scheduled days. If he stops the £500 per month he gives me the children and I don't know what will become of the children and I. I have not asked for spousal support or part of his pension as if I receive the £500 it covers the bills. I recently found out that he is going to Australia for three weeks holiday but now he says he has no money for the family and most importantly won't be seeing our five year old child for this time. I would like to know financially what I'm entitled too. He wants to go to mediation as he thinks he's paying to much and also wants me to bring the children up to see him ( he currently picks them up from the house). He is fully aware that I earn £160 per week and have no money for fuel.
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.

For clarity can you confirm how many nights they spend with him each fortnight? Are you living in the house that you have always owned?

Are you willing to start divorce proceedings?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Hi Clare,



Thank you for this. My youngest son Isaac spends two nights a fortnight with him. My eldest son Seb ( his step son ) doesn't sleep over at all. He is under a very complicated court order with his birth father where he is not allowed to sleep over at his birth fathers house and for him to sleep at his step fathers house would put it in jepoardy. My husband Andy has agreed to this so sees Seb on a Wednesday night for a few hours along with his brother and he also sees him on a Sunday for a few hours when he drops Isaac off.


I'm living in the house I've always owned ( I have a mortgage on it) I bought this two years before Andy moved in. He had his house for three years before he moved into mine. He rented his house out and went back to live in when we split up.


I want to start divorce proceedings but don't know if I have to go to mediation. He wants to as he believes he pays me too much even though he came up with the figure. Can I start divorce proceedings without mediation. I really need to know what I'm entitled too before I start anything such as maintenance, spousal support , pension? I feel that if I get the £500 a month I will not go for spousal support or part of his pension but I need to guarantee that amount continues.


Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
What is the equity in each of the properties?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

zero equity in his and £50 000 in mine. He has never said that he wants us to sell the houses and split the profit. He knows I will not be able to get another mortgage as I earn £6900 a year.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In fact using the CSA rates as a guide what he is paying is more or less spot on - since you can claim child maintenance for the older child from him -(only via the courts not the CSA) -
In any event as you so rightly point out you would also be entitled to spouse maintenance which is needs based and would certainly cover any shortfall.
There is no need to go to Mediation before starting the divorce proceedings - but equally there is no reason not to attend mediation to discuss the finances in order to avoid a protracted dispute,
If you do agree a court order make sure that the amount for your elder child is listed separately to that for your younger child.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details