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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35076
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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There I wanted to know if a maintenance order was set up

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Hi There
I wanted to know if a maintenance order was set up nearly 10 years ago via the court if I can apply for my ex wife can ask for her spousal support to be increased. at that time was on £120k per year and it has now dropped to £60k for very good reason this actually dropped 4 years ago but I have still honoured my payments . I currently pay £1200 per month. £800 is my sons and £400 is for my ex wife. She is also asking for £2800 in back payment relating to a index and four years worth of back pay
at the time of the divorce she was not working but has been now all this time now but as my income has dropped and I am facing financial problems currently working 3 jobs and looking to sell my business too. Do you take into account my wife income we joint own a dental surgery.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help youWhy has your income dropped so much and how did the arrears arise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello ClaireI previously worked at a surgery (I'm a dentist) one that I owned I sold it and the principal was making my position untenable to the point he was making my job impossible. I left 4 years ago and I have been harassed and bullied by him to this present day. He has lead patients to sue me, reported me to my professional body( for which I was found fit to work) however like my indemnity insurance has gone up from 500 and month to £2.2000. I am making just £5000 at best. With a £1500 mortgage to pay and the maintenance on top the money simply is not there. I have not fallen behind at all and I have continued to make payments in full for the entire time even with the drop in income and hike in fees. It is my ex wife that says I have not honoured the rate of inflation so she thinks I need to pay her more and back date it four years too.
Does your current wife actually work in the Surgery - or does she just receive a share of the profits?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We are partners.. yes she works there full time, she also has another business.. on tax records we both file individual tax returns. She also pays bills towards our home.
Could your ex argue that some of your earnings are in effect paid to your current wife?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well I would have to ask you to tell me?? My wife works she is the practice manager and receptionist, she is not a tax purpose wife... she actually worked at the practice with an associate dentist for 18 months before I even worked there so no she is not paid a wage from me. We are a true business partnership as far as HMRC are concerned she takes drawings from the business separate to me. Her tax return this year showed approx £44k income but if you actually look at the expenses to run our surgery there is never that amount left. She probably takes £12-£15k a year. Our overheads are so great. She had a individual tax bill this year to pay on top of mine.
Is your wife paid what the average practise manager is paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would say a practice manager would be on £25-30k a year depending on hours and areas they work in. It would be different as not all would be full time and most do not do the work my wife does. Like I say bank statements will only show she gets £15k max I am sure. Our out goings are not covered by incoming we survive on cash flow only. I did speak to someone over the phone and I was told that due to my drop in income so long back that I would be within my rights to seek a reduction. No-one has yet told me that my current wife would be liable to pay for my ex wife and my son from that marriage. That seems very wrong that my current wife works all the hours under the sun to help keep us afloat and she could be questioned about giving more to my ex who currently works and must: get around £800 a month for that plus my £1200 and then benefits for being a single mum and my wife gets less for working full time. Surely she can't be seen as responsible? When I left the home she had EVERYTHING.. I left with out a penny from 20 years of marriage and she got half of my NHS pension too and she knows of my financial trouble yet comes back for more.
Given your drop in income you are entitled to apply to the courts for a downward variation of the spouse maintenanceYour ex will no doubt argue that if you paid your wife the going rate you would be able to take more yourself and it is possible that thecourt will agree - but overall it is clear that your income has substantially reduced - and your ex's financial position has improved.The Court will also consider her claim for arrearsI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As mentioned my wife isn't paid the going rate. She is actually underpaid and there is no more to pay me anyhow. So showing all our in and outgoings plus would be the way forward. Would the court not look at the fact that we are short of funds all round and see that there is nothing to give. We are having to look at a 2nd mortgage on our home to help reduce costs at work with our practice up for sale. If I have to retire I will only have £1000 a month income.
The issue is what her payslips show sadly - not how it is spent
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok so finally would a judge/court see my self and my current wife homeless/business less and possibly bankrupt yet she could be considered for more money from me. The women had everything from me already...she spends money like water and she's practically mortgage free well at least that's how I left her. I'm a nice seaside detached home that's worth around £250k. She's an only child with inheritance to come from parents . It's surely not right that she can put a final nail in our coffin and she gets to role in it? Where does it stop?
Your drop in income means that there will be a drop in maintenance - the only issue is by how much
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