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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have been divorced for 25 years now and still pay £20/week

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I have been divorced for 25 years now and still pay £20/week maintenance no children involved .Do I really have to keep paying on and on?
Court order says I pay £20/week
Thank you for your question.

What precisely does the order say? It's unusual for a death or remarriage order to be in force nowadays.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It states I have to pay £20/week until the death or remarriage

Dated 30 April 1979 at sheriff court district o Edinburgh

Thank you for your reply. The decree is still valid as you are still making payments under it but you do have the right to go to the court and have it varied if there has been a material change of circumstances which would justify the variation. A Minute of Variation is required and you will need to instruct a solicitor.

In 1979, death or remarriage decrees were common but these have now been superseded by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 which introduced a clean break principal, lump sum payments of capital in place of aliment when possible and the concept of pensions being treated as matrimonial assets, and indeed nowadays pension sharing is common.

So the court will not be inclined to vary the decree here just because a lot of time has elapsed. You will have to establish that your ex wife's financial circumstances have changed for the better or that yours have changed for the worse.

Here is an article from my professional journal about the wider issues arising from similar situations which you might find interesting:

Happy to discuss further. In the meantime I hope this helps. Please leave positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.

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