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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35056
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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Me ex husband is claiming that his salary is reduced to £75,000

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Me ex husband is claiming that his salary is reduced to £75,000 from £100,00 and at the time of our divorce in 2005 it was £150,000 plus benefits. He wants to reduce my payments accordingly. The court order 2005 says that he must give me £11,000 year Wording is.... £11,000 per anum for the benefit of the Petitioner, payable during joint lives until the Petitioner's remarriage or further order.
There were payments for the children but these have stopped now.
Thanks - Natalie
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has your ex made an application to the court for the payment to be reduced?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not know - I have received the following email:on 8 November. He has been paying the £11,000 as requested by the court order and also a proportion of a mortgage that I took out 10 yhears ago to pay for school fees, when he could not raise the money. This was a private agreement between us.

I’m sorry to say that the financial position of the company is so bad that we (the family) have had to reduce our salaries. My salary is now £75,000 down from £100,000 (and it was £150,000 at the time of our financial settlement). This means that I cannot afford to pay you at the rate I have been paying.

I should not need to pay the amount (£326) associated with the mortgage used to fund school fees, because I believe that element of the mortgage was to repaid by your 60th birthday. Also, I have been paying for private medical insurance for you, to help you, even though it was not required by the judge. I would guess that’s costing me something like £60 per month.

Shall we try to talk this through, or would you prefer to go back to court? I would prefer to talk it through to save paying more solicitor’s fees.

I assume this has been triggered by the Pension argument!
I cannot read the links - can you send them again please
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes... about the pension - he is pushing me into a corner.... but.... there has been talk about the company going bust.... so maybe his salary adjustment is correct. So then...... how do I deal with this?? My situation is also tight as I gave up working full-time last year when I thought the pension would come through and sort of rely on his £900 month to pay mortgage. I havnt spoken to him about this yet. But it does make me realise I should stick it out over the pension. So... how when one of the parties wants to adjust a court orders - how does the court work it all out.......

Links - they must be a mistake - so ignore. Tks

Has the School fees issue actually been resolved?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not exactly....... on his behalf..... as he couldnt get borrowing at the time to finish paying my last daughters school fees......... I took out a £60,000 mortgage over 10 years. At the time he underpaid the monthly repayments a bit..... but I didnt mind because I thought we would sit down one day and sort it out (does this sound familiar??!!)... then over this period.... when I needed a bit extra money for xmas or house repair or my business wasnt doing so well, etc I "drew-down", so of course this part became my debt...... It became a bit financially complicated and last year he kindly offered to look at the statements and work out how much exactly is my part of the debt...... I sent a box of statements to his house .... and then a few months ago..... as nothing had been done about this...... I asked for it back.....he said "he can't find it".....I have left it with him that he should find the paperwork and return it to me. There is £80,000 outstanding mortgaage and I believe (?) he still owes £30,000 of this... He of course will have a different figure I am sure!

In addition the court says my payments have to rise yearly with the Retail Price Index - this has never happened so there is an adjustment to be made there.

Also in addition - he was supposed to pay back my mother £5,000 when she had paid school fees. This had never happened.

On his side:

He paid maintenance in excess as my son was at university a bit longer than envisaged and also a bit longer for my 2 daughters as they both completed masters and that extra degree was not part of the order.

Also - he gave me £500 on one occasion and £2.500 on another when I was stuck for money.

So as you can see - we both need to sit down with a calculater.

The court order for maintenance roughly says this.....£26,000 per annum apportioned as:

£11,00 per annum for the benetit of the Petitioner, £4,000 per annum for Adam, £4,000 for Rebecca £7,000 for Francesca ( the last child) payable.....each respectively attain 18years or complete fulltime tertiary education, limited to a first degree to include gap year per child prior to graduation whichever is the later.

Thank you

How old are you both and what were you earning when you worked full time
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am 60 and my ex-husband is 61. I earned about £1000 month as self-employed earnings. When I thought I would be able to rely on my pension, I became part-time, even though my hours remain high. I am a florist.

When does the Order say that your maintenance should stop - or is it a Joint life Order?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The order for my maintenance says£11,000 per annum for the benefit of the Petitioner, payable during joint lives until the Petitioners remarriage or futher order.

Before you reply - I think it says something about this also in the pension order - but I have to go out so will look later - tks and sorry

That is fine.
Usually I would say that Mediation/negotiation is always the way forward.
My concern in this case is that your ex's current approach is not conciliatory.
However in the past it seems that you have been able to work with him (although I do wonder if it was always a one way street) so going to Family mediation
is a good starting point.
Spouse maintenance is based on the payers income and the payees needs.
His income may have decreased - but then so has the amount that he has to pay and that is the balance
If negotiation does not work then your ex will have to apply to the court for a downward variation - and then the court will review the issues.
From your point of view one point is that he has a better chance of getting the variation IF the pension issue is sorted.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you