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Guest Mrs Hobbit

Divorce, Maintenance et al

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Guest Mrs Hobbit

Divorce effected eight years ago. Wife's solicitor drew up the paper work for settlement agreement, neither party appeared in Court, signed agreement was stamped by Judge.

 

Wife got £61,000.00 plus £200 a month maintenance, this has been paid for the last years.

 

Both parties are now pensioners, since then husband has retired and just remaried. Aged 68 and 70 respectively

 

When husband signed papers he was under duress, son handed him the papers and told him to sign, son has threatened father before, so husband wanted shot of the lot and took the easy way out. he did speak to a solicitor who advised him to sign it as it wasn't worth fighting it and it could cost him another £20,000.00 to fight it. Son applying pressure all the time and told husband he was going to see him in the gutter before he was through.

 

Wife applied for the divorce and husband got a friend to say she was co-respondent, this was not the case at all. the relationship had broken down over the years and he stayed with wife for nearly forty years, but neither wanted to be together. they had seperated when children were younger, but husband went back after several months as wife was struggling and the child support money was draining his wages. Once the youngest son got married, the wife remarked, now what is there for me? This is has no relevance on the divorce and property settlement.

 

The final paragraph in the divorce agreement is. Either party is at liberty to apply for variation should circumstances change.

 

Husband stopped the £200.00 a month at end of last month, but has banked the money.

 

This morning husband had a phone call from ex-wife asking where her money is. he explained he is not paying it and to speak to CAB or Age concern. Ex wife claims she has spoken to them. Ex-husband told her she is entitled all sorts of benefits , he has checked this out and the ex-wife can get nearly £900.00 in pension credits if her income is state pension and paying mortgage, which she is. She will also be entitled to Council Tax relief.

 

he cannot claim any of this because of his Military Pension. he tried to expalin to son way back that his wife would get the pension share for the rest of her life, rather £200.00 a month out of hime, they wanted none of that.

 

Husband has told her to take him to court to get this re-instated. he is prepared to fight her over the amount of money she trying to claim out of him.

 

Every one is surprised that he has been paying this moneyt all this time since his retirement as well as the lump some settlement she got. TGyhis was the lion's share from the sale of the matrimonial home. he walked away with £19,000.00 and paid her legal costs.

 

Any thoughts.

 

Not the morality angle please. If it is morals, he would still pay the money and take her to Court for the variation, but he has had enough.

 

Oh the twist in the tail, she had been having an affair right up until the time of the divorce and she did not want this revealed to her sons.

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If an unforeseeable event occurs after the divorce settlement is reached, the law allows a former spouse to ask the courts to look at the deal again. Questions will need to be asked regarding his financial position and changes to income etc. If agreement between ex spouses cannot be made in a conciliatory fashion, the husband would have to apply to a court to reduce his regular payments in a divorce variation case. Refusing to pay maintenance as agreed in court could see an Appeal Judge deciding on a suspended prison sentence for a spouse who cannot provide evidence of reasoning behind unilaterally reduced or stopped payments.

 

Under section 31 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 family law courts have the power to vary periodical payment orders, but have no ability to vary other types of ancillary relief orders such as lump sum orders. In deciding whether to vary the levels of support the Court will again look at their respective resources. The ex-wife’s capital derived from the divorce settlement cannot be ring fenced in these negotiations, even if it is used to provide her with income although he cannot claw back capital paid to her already. Financial details for both will be explored in full. The Court’s first consideration remains the welfare of any children. Ex-wives may be horrified to discover that their budgets may need to be pruned. Maintenance can go down as well as up. Ex-husbands who have funded large divorce settlements will be very keen to get those settlements factored back into the equation as a way of reducing their monthly commitments. I would go for the variation order, but he should consult a solicitor first, the first hour is normally free.


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Guest Mrs Hobbit

An appointment has been made for next Monday. The solicitor is very surprised about the existing agreement.

 

Thank goodness there are no children involved and we have since discovered she is also being paid an undeclared superannuation. It is a final salary superannuation. Form E will be an interesting exercise for her.

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