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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4196
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I have been paying £1000 a month on a voluntary basis to my

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I have been paying £1000 a month on a voluntary basis to my ex husband since we split up in December 2011. We lived together from September 2001 and married on 01/03/2008. I am 73 years old he is a year older. I am a doctor with a good NHS pension but am still working largely to pay the maintenance. I do not want to go to court as I have been advised that he will probably get his maintenance out of my NHS pension and this is something I wish to avoid. I am currently off sick having had an operation on my shoulder. I will be off work for about 3 months. I would like to reduce the maintenance probably by £200 a month. Is this reasonable? Do I need his agreement? When we split up he did agree to a reduction when I retired. He has his basic state pension and 2 small merchant navy pensions amounting in total to about £700 - 800 a month on top of my maintenance. He lives in rented accommodation and pays £600 a month on rent. I think £800 a month is enough to pay his rent an utilities. He is an alcoholic and much of my money over the years has gone on booze. Legal advice I have had in the past said I would need to pay this maintenance for the rest of his life which seems very unfair. Is this still true?

Hello, my name is Peter, I’ve been asked to look at this for you, thank you for your patience.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

I am surprised due to the short duration from marriage to separation that you have been paying such a significant amount each month. However, as nothing is court ordered to date, then legally if you have to reduce the amount for the time frame that you suggest there is no reason you cannot do this.

I hope this assists.

Let me know if I can clarify anything for you.

Can I assist you further with your question?

If you have further questions, you can always come back to me.

In the meantime, if you could take a second to provide a 5 star rating (top right of your screen) I'll be credited for my time spent responding to your question.

Kind regards,


plclegal and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Dear Peter thank you for your response. any sane person would agree that after such a short marriage and at my age I should not have to keep this man at this rate indefinitely. However, the opinion of my local solicitor and a barrister from no 5 chambers in Birmingham was that the court would take the whole 10 year relationship into account and, as I was the breadwinner, it was my responsibility to provide him with a decent standard of living. The barrister even said she would go for more money if she was representing him as I have a good NHS pension. It seems that I will have to do this until one of us dies. My objection to going to court was him having his maintenance out of my NHS pension pot, partly because it was built up before I met him but mostly because even if he died the next day I would not get the money back. As he is an alcoholic I am reasonable confident he will die before me. My previous legal advice was 5+ years ago. Has anything changed in the law since then? How likely is it that the court would insist on any maintenance awarded to him coming out of my pension pot? If it's worth my while I will consult a different solicitor locally