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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
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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I am 52 and unfortunately about to be divorced. I expect to

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I am 52 and unfortunately about to be divorced. I expect to have to pay around 40% of my salary to my wife for spousal maintenance and child support.

Given that I can now theoretically retire at 55, what would happen to the support payments if I chose to retire at 55 and live off my pension savings until state pension kicks in ?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and what income do you and your ex each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare.


We have two children, 12 & 15 y.o.


My wife could probably earn only £600pm gross


I earn about £85K gross pa

May I ask why you expect the spouse maintenance part to be so high?
How much would your pension income be?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare. As I understand it, Child support is a fixed figure, around 20%, and my solicitor said to expect to pay up to 20% in spousal support. The house has about £950k equity and he said to expect a 60/40 split in her favour, with maybe me getting more of the pension as compensation. I have two money purchase pensions, each with around £120k, and a deferred final salary pension of 17yrs, 10 of which were before we married. The last time it was valued it aimed to pay around £25k pa from 65. My idea was possibly to take lump sums from the money purchase pensions and live cheaply until the final salary kicks in at 65.
Have you not considered giving her a larger share of the equity in lieu of spouse maintenance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I hadn't considered it to be honest,, but given that I'll need to take out a mortgage myself, I guess that might be a balancing act. Any idea what sort of figure we'd be looking at ? What would happen to her maintenance if I did retire ? Would it go down in proportion to my reduced income ?
You can work out how much child maintenance you will get using the calculation detailed here
This is the calculation based on any income that you receive - whether from a pension or any other income so that is relatively straight forward
Spouse maintenance is needs based and is harder to assess.
In the event that your income decreases you would have to apply for a downward variation.
If the Court believes that you chose to retire to thwart the Maintenance Order they could decide to leave the Order as is - so you do need to tread carefully in this regard
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you