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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have separated from my wife and am now living in rented accommodation

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I have separated from my wife and am now living in rented accommodation costing double the mortgage payment (£1000 compared with £500). We have 2 children (12 yrs 11 months & 17 yrs 9 months), the younger of which I would like to have live with me equal time and the elder to have freedom to choose where and when she is at any time. My income is £39000 and my wife's is in excess of £45000 but she is insisting on at least £400 monthly maintenance and is inflexible on letting my son spend more than 5 nights a fortnight with me. I made the decision that my children (and her) needed the house and its contents during this difficult transition so left the home but does this mean I have to pay the maintenance even if my outgoings are way in excess of hers and I would prefer the children with me more of the time? In addition my wife s holding onto my half of our ISA saved over 15 years which we had agreed I would need to live on until I agree to her terms and this is making things very difficult because it is in her name and I am needing to rely on credit cards.
Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Have either of you pursued a divorce?-In relation to the maintenance she is requesting, is this child maintenance or spousal maintenance?-What are the current arrangements for the children to stay with you (ie. how many nights a week?)-Is you eldest in A-levels or a government approved training course?-What other assets do you both have - this includes properties, savings and pensions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are trying to avoid the anguish of a divorce for the time being hoping we can just let the 2 years lapse.This is child maintenance she is requestingWell, I have been wanting half time with the youngest and freedom to choose for the elder but although I know the younger has wanted this he has wanted for us to decide so that he is not forced to be seen to be making choices so i have been limited to Saturday 10am to Tuesday 8am one week and Sunday 10 am to Tuesday 8 am the second. There is good contact time in this but only the 5 nights per fortnight and i am stuck as she has possession of the house and i am not going to cause a stressful scene foe the children.The eldest is sitting A-levelsWe both have similar teacher and local authority pension schemes but other than that it is only the house.
Thank you for confirming. In relation to child maintenance, your legal liability based on a gross salary of £39,000 and the children staying with you, on average, 2-3 nights per week is £86 per week. Anything above this amount is your decision and she cannot attempt to enforce a higher amount. The more the nights spent with you increase, the less child maintenance you are legally liable for. In terms of the divorce - what do you mean by letting the two years lapse? After two years you will still be married and still need to formally apply for divorce. The only difference after two year separation is that you can apply under the fact of two year separation, but would require her written consent to proceed. You are able to immediately apply for a divorce if you can prove unreasonable behaviour from her that led to the marriage breaking down irretrievably. You should also be aware that arising out of the marriage you both have the right to make a financial relief claim to court, and this will take into consideration both your financial positions, the children's needs, both your needs and all your assets and liabilities. The court's starting point for division of assets is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered when making or approving a financial order is:1. 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;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. 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;7. 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;8. 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. You should also be aware that the right to apply for financial relief arising out of the marriage remains open against both of you until a financial settlement is made or approved by the court, or the prospective application has remarried.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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