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 ukfamilysolicitor Your Own Question
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1469
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
ukfamilysolicitor is online now

Does my husband who is the sole earner at the moment have to

This answer was rated:

Does my husband who is the sole earner at the moment have to continue to pay household bills if we separate ? He wants to separate. We have four children all over the age of 18 still living in the family home.


Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

Please may I ask:

- how long have you been married?

- what do you both earn yearly?

- what are the assets and values for both of you? including house and pension?

- is divorce contemplated?

kind regards


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Married for 28 years with four children. I haven’t worked for 4 years . But have been running the house . We have a small mortgage and the house is worth £550 . I do not know how much my husband earns but he works for National grid with a substantial pension .


Thank you for your response.

I think it is appropriate to give you an overview of the matrimonial finances and how the court deals with the same.

In relation to the matrimonial finances - the correct way of dealing with the same is by making a claim which can only be done once divorce proceedings have been issued.

The matrimonial finances includes all of the assets and liabilities for both of you. You will both be under a duty of full disclosure to provide full details of all assets and liabilities for both of you to each other so you will be able to know your husbands income and pension details.

With a long marriage, such as yours, then the starting point for the division of all assets is equality.

The court considers the following criteria when deciding whether to depart from equality:

The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would, in the opinion of the Court, be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would, in the opinion of the Court, be inequitable to disregard it;In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring (e.g. a right to your husband’s pensions).

From what you have said as your income is less than your husbands then you need to be seeking a larger share of the assets - around 10 - 20% more.

In relation to the house - are the children are all over 18 and as there is a large amoutn of equity in the home then it is likely a court would order that the house be sold so that the equity can be realised.

In relation to income:

- You need to check what benefits you might be entitled to as a single person. Try a free service such as Turn2us and they will help you.

- If work is possible, even if only a few hours a week, look around and see what might work.

You can also seek spousal maintenance on divorce as your husbands income is a lot higher. There is no set rule but a court will want to make sure that you have enough to meet your needs.

You need to consider referring to family mediation. This is a prerequisite before you can apply to court. Google family mediation in your area and give them a call to self refer.

Mediation will try and help you both through full disclosure of both your financial positions and discussions about division. You can discuss providing for the children at mediation.

If agreement can be reached at mediation then a consent order should be submitted to the court when applying for decree absolsute in divorce proceedings to finalise matters.

If agreement cannot be reached at mediation then the mediator will sign the form that you need to apply to court. A court will not make provision for adult children.

If divorce is not yet contemplated then you could consider a separation agreement. Mediation could again help you agree the terms for this. You need to be aware that such separation agreements are not legally binding on a future family court Judge but they can and do order in line with what was agreed if they considered that full disclosure had taken place and what was agreed was fair.

If your husbands stops supporting you then issue divorce proceedings asap as you can then ask for interim maintenance whilst the divorce and finances are ongoing. Interim orders are usually generous to ensure that your interim needs are met.

Please do let me know if I can help you further

kind regards


Please kindly remember to rate positively by clicking on the stars, so that credit is received for helping you today

ukfamilysolicitor and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you