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Joanne M
Joanne M, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 264
Experience:  LLB (Hons), experience in matrimonial and child law
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I have a court order to pay £2,500 for spousal and child maintenance.

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I have a court order to pay £2,500 for spousal and child maintenance. At the time of the order, I was in rented accommodation (I had moved out of the family home into a tiny rundown rented flat) and my ex was not working (one of our 3 children was not yet of school age). Our financial statements were based on these scenarios.
Since then our circumstances have changed:
- I have remarried and we have bought a house, therefore I now have a mortgage and the usual outgoings to run a home. We are also trying to start a family
- All 3 children are at school and I understand my ex has some part-time work
I can't now afford to pay the £2,500 in maintenance and rely heavily on my wife's earnings to support this payment (which will cease if/when we have a baby).
Can I apply for a variation and is it likely to be successful?
Has your income reduced?
What do you earn,
what does ex earn?
Is new wife working?
How much of 2500 is child and how much is spousal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joanne


Thanks for coming back to me.


- I have c.£130k flow through the limited company but pay taxes from this (corporation etc). Also this is not guaranteed as I contract and this therefore is not a stable income flow

- I haven't asked my ex about her earnings but know that she is working

- My wife has been out of work for the past 5 months and we have not coped without her income; I've taken out loans for the short fall; she is returning to work next month however we are keen to start a family and therefore we must find a way to live on my income; she is 40 and time is running out for us to have a child but we need her to work to pay my ex spousal support, a situation which stresses us both; in addition we have a very sizeable tax bill to pay and are on the verge of bankruptcy

- I don't know how the £2,500 is split



Thank you. An element of this is child maintenance and an element is spousal maintenance. Child maintenance as a percentage of your income and spousal maintenance is based upon your income and your ex’s need.
The fact that you may have more self-imposed expenses (new child, new wife not working, Newhouse) is not of concern by and large to the court.
What would be of concern to the court would be if your own income had dropped and although I accept that it may be unstable, it has not dropped from what you tell me.
If your income does drop, then there is a good chance that you could make an application to court to reduce the amount of maintenance which you pay.
Bankruptcy does not wipe out maintenance payments sorry to have to tell you.
What may assist you in reducing the amount you pay is that it would appear that her need has changed because she is now working whereas she was not before. Now that can make a big difference and if you can prove that, you can then make an application to court to vary the amount you pay.
Can I help further? Can I answer any specific points?
I am off-line now until tomorrow but will pick this up then.
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