How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask UKfamsol Your Own Question
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
UKfamsol is online now

I have been separated from my wife for two years after a four

This answer was rated:

I have been separated from my wife for two years after a four and a half year turbulent marriage, she is living on benefits again and has a daughter now 15 years old, she was receiving maintenance from the child's natural farther via the CSA throughout the marriage, I have no contact with the child whatsoever. My question is am I now after 2 years separation liable to pay maintenance for this child, and if so how much is she be likely to receive ?
Hello and thanks for your question.

Only the natural father is liable for child maintenace for your wife's daughter from a previous relationship.

However, once a divorce petition has been filed at court,(but not before), either one of you can make a financial and/or property claim against the other, if there any assets of the marriage and you don't agree between you how the assets should be divided. In that claim, she is entitled also to make a claim for spousal maintenance for herself - but whether or not she is sucessful will depend on whether the court considers that her financial needs compared to your ability to pay justify that.

I hope that helps and good luck.

Thanks and best wishes.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Am I not liable as a step parent?
No - the natural parent is liable for child support - just as he was while you were living with your wife. Unless you formally adopted your wife's daughter - by that I mean you obtained an adoption order from court, as an adoption order extinguishes the parental responsibilty of the natural parents and grants it to the adoptive parent - then yes you would be liable for child support. But from what you say, I assumed that didn't happen. Of course, there's nothing to stop you making voluntray payments if you want to!

However, whilever you are married, you have a liabilty to maintain your spouse - but if you and she don't agree on whether you should make any payments to her, or how much they should be, she would have to make a formal application to court for that, and the court would decide on the basis of her financial needs compared to your ability to pay. Once a divorce petiiton has been filed at court, then either one of you can ask the court to make a financial order to include how the assets of the marriage should be divided as well as whether or not spousal maintenance should be paid after the divorce, and the amountand for how long.

I hope this helps.

best wishes and thanks...
UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you