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Divorce and the Law Regarding Payments

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 24 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Couple Order Consent Order Child Parent

When a couple are separating or divorcing a great deal of stress and concern will be created as a direct result of worrying about finances. Couples will have to consider what to do with their shared home and possessions, how mortgage or rent payments will be made, and how proceeds will be divided. If the couple have children there will be other additional factors to consider.

Resolving Issues

A divorcing couple can resolve a number of issues by applying to the courts for relevant orders. These can include a Property Adjustment Order, which determines each individual’s interest in their home, a Lump Sum Order, which awards a payment to either the man or woman, and Periodic Maintenance. If the couple have children the courts will regard the interests of the children as being of paramount importance.

Provided a couple’s split is amicable, it is possible to carry out a divorce without involving a solicitor or going to court, although professional assistance in some form is recommended.

Making A Clean Break

Maintenance is paid by one partner to the other, but not necessarily always by a man to the woman. When a couple divorces a financial Clean Break Order is generally obtained. The couple will have agreed to settle all financial details between them. Once this is done the court is able to dismiss any further financial claims by either party. What this means is that both partners can make any financial arrangements and agreements without worrying that their former partner will make some kind of claim against them.

Child Support And Maintenance

If a couple has children on divorcing one parent will become the parent with care, whilst the other becomes the non resident parent. Although the child will live with the custodial parent they may well maintain contact with the other parent, who often shares parenting under a private agreement. The non resident parent however, is also expected to contribute maintenance towards the costs of raising a child. The amount that is paid periodically may be privately agreed between the couple, but in many cases the amount is decided by the Child Support Agency (CSA)or Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

Any parent failing to pay maintenance will be forced to do so by the CSA/CMS. Payments can be enforced and taken directly from the parent’s wages.

Unmarried Couples

Couples who have not married but are separating may benefit from legal advice when they go their separate ways. Unmarried couples do not have the same legal rights as their married counterparts. For instance, an unmarried woman, who has children within the relationship, will not be entitled to claim maintenance for herself, but may still claim Child Support from the children’s father.

A Case For Court

When a couple are unable to reach an agreement over the division of property, possessions, child care and maintenance or any other matter they have the option of applying for a Court Order. Any application for a Consent Order must be accompanied by a detailed account of the matrimonial finances and assets.

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My husband left me and my children a yearago, he wants to start divorce in June next year. He is living with his girlfriend and he is paying the mortgage for the house I live in with our 2 boys ( 6 and 7). He has asked that I take over the mortgage so that he can buy himself a flat. Unfortunately I am in no position financially to take over the mortgage due to my wages being too low. What are my legal rights for my children when it comes to our home and him wanting to stop the mortgage? Can he make me sell our home? Does he not have a legal responsibility to our children to help put a roof over their heads until I am able to change jobs? Thanks
Moo 34 - 24-Oct-17 @ 9:30 PM
My husband left me and my children a yearago, he wants to start divorce in June next year. He is living with his girlfriend and he is paying the mortgage for the house I live in with our 2 boys ( 6 and 7). He has asked that I take over the mortgage so that he can buy himself a flat. Unfortunately I am in no position financially to take over the mortgage due to my wages being too low. What is are my legal rights for my children when it comes to our home and him wanting stop the mortgage? Can he make me sell our home? Does he not have a legal responsibility to our children to help put a roof over their heads until I am able to change jobs? Thanks
Moo 34 - 24-Oct-17 @ 9:28 PM
Debs - Your Question:
My daughters father is in a care home he very rarely sees his daughter but when he does he buys her clothes etc should he still pay maintenance

Our Response:
It depends whether he is earning money and paying tax on it. If he is living in a care home and in receipt of benefits earning between £7 and £100, then he would be eligible to pay a flat rate of £7 per week.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Oct-17 @ 4:00 PM
My daughters father is in a care home and very rarely sees his daughter but when he does he buys her clothes etc should he still pay maintenance
Debs - 3-Oct-17 @ 9:32 AM
My daughters father is in a care home he very rarely sees his daughter but when he does he buys her clothes etc should he still pay maintenance
Debs - 3-Oct-17 @ 9:29 AM
I wanted to ask is it possible to issue a home rights notice, if the matrimonial property is owned by my spouse and one of his parents?
Annie - 1-Feb-17 @ 2:07 PM
Redneil - Your Question:
I messaged last week but have had no response as yet?I have now received the divorce petition from my wife who has ticked all the boxes about financial, claiming my work pension etc. I have paid into my work pension since I was able to join and this was before meeting her so therefore no expense was incurred to her as this was already a live payment from my salary. We were married for 7 years, living together for 9. What is the court likely to grant her? Also am I able to make the same claim against her? Surely this can't be just 1 way? Thanks.

Our Response:
If you get divorced, your pension assets are taken into account in the settlement. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it is the value of your pension benefits at the date of divorce or dissolution of the civil partnership that is counted. You can see more via the Pension Advisory Service link here. I hope this helps answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Jan-17 @ 11:01 AM
I messaged last week but have had no response as yet? I have now received the divorce petition from my wife who has ticked all the boxes about financial, claiming my work pension etc. I have paid into my work pension since I was able to join and this was before meeting her so therefore no expense was incurred to her as this was already a live payment from my salary. We were married for 7 years, living together for 9. What is the court likely to grant her? Also am I able to make the same claim against her? Surely this can't be just 1 way? Thanks.
Redneil - 16-Jan-17 @ 11:27 AM
I have now received the divorce petition from my wife who has ticked all the boxes about financial, claiming my work pension etc. I have paid into my work pension since I was able to join and this was before meeting her so therefore no expense was incurred to her as this was already a live payment from my salary. We were married for 7 years, living together for 9. What is the court likely to grant her? Also am I able to make the same claim against her? Surely this can't be just 1 way? Thanks.
Redneil - 10-Jan-17 @ 10:09 AM
In September 2014 my wife divorced me. The settlement was basically she could have the house and I would not have to pay maintainance and on the understanding she would contunue to provide a roof over our then 17 and 12 year old children. Once the divorce camw through she sold the house and put the proceeds towards a flat which she rented out whilst she lived, illegally in substandard rent free accomodation. Within months if the divorce she kicked my 17 year old out. More recently the local council evicted her and my now 15 year old daughter due to it being an illegal residence. My ex then movee in with her new partner and has kicked my 15 year old out. I recently remarried, i have a stepson aged six and my daughter is now living with us. I would really appreciate some advice regarding my rights, does she have to pay me maintainance and is there anything i can do in terms of the divorce agreement as ut seems wholly unfair!!
Iancs - 29-Dec-16 @ 1:06 PM
@Lisa - if there is one loophole that fathers have manage to get around regarding child maintenance it is being self-employed and employing a good accountant to make it look as though they are not earning enough to pay. Is he earning now? Can you prove that he was earning when he says he wasn't? You can complain to the CSA if you think they have failed to follow this up and try to claim for arrears, via the link here . But it is always a tricky one to try and pin these fathers down.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Feb-15 @ 12:29 PM
CSA ordered my ex husband to pay in 1996 and he never paid a penny as he was self employed etc! Numerous attempts never successful! My children were 15 & 12 then! But can I sue him now for failing to pay?
Lisa - 13-Feb-15 @ 3:48 PM
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