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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife and I amicably agreed to split up about 4 years ago.

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My wife and I amicably agreed to split up about 4 years ago. No formal agreement has been made. Our three children are all independent, the youngest is 22 years old. We have a house with a joint mortgage. We both continued to live in the house for two years then I moved out but agreed to continue paying the mortgage and also to give her £1150 per month towards living costs for a fixed period of two years. This time is almost up now and we've put the house on the market to sell it. There should be around £200k collateral to split between us and then we'll be fully independent of each other.
For the last year or so, her partner (whom she has been seeing for about three years) was expecting to buy my share of the house and move in with her and they'd live there happily ever after, but he has changed his mind and they've now split up!
My wife has very little earning capacity as she suffers with depression and bulimia and isn't really capable of holding down a full-time job. She is hoping to qualify for benefits of some kind, but I should think this is unlikely if she has £100k in the bank! We live in Hertfordshire and a one bedroom flat is around £200k so she has no chance of buying her own home.
She has been advised that she should receive spousal maintenance from me, for ever!
Apparently I should give her half of all I earn, only deducting whatever little money she earns from a part time cleaning job.
I had originally planned to spend my share of the money on a canal boat and quit my job and become semi-retired (therefore half of my earning would be virtualy nothing). As things have worked out, I am now in a new relationship and renting an apartment with my new partner and shall carry on working as before (although this is unlikely to last if half my earnings get paid to my wife and we struggle to get by).
My question is this:
Will I really need to give my wife half my money for ever more, or, if she is reasonable, can we just agree to stick to our original arrangement?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Are you in England or Wales?
-How old are you both?
-How long have you been married?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What is your incomes?
-What is the value of the home and how much outstanding mortgage is there?

-How many bedrooms is the home?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Harris.
We are in England.
We've been married 26 years.
We have no other assets and no pensions.
I have an annual salary of £45k, I think my wife earns about £400 per month.
The house has three bedrooms, is worth £400k and has a mortgage of £160k.

Thank you for confirming. Firstly, the home will likely be deemed to large for her to remain living there solely and a court will likely agree that it should be sold and proceeds divided between you.

Given your larger salary and current poor prospects of your wife to earn any more income a court may feel it is appropriate that she obtains over 50% of the equity in the home in order to rehouse herself in a one bedroom property.

In relation to any spousal maintenance, if she were to receive a lump sum and reinvest it in property (thereby not have any savings) then she may be eligible for benefits.

Spousal maintenance will likely be deemed appropriate if she cannot meet her reasonable needs and you are within your rights to demand that she continues to make efforts to increase her income to discharge your liability.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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