FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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I have been married for 15 years and my wife and I have three children – twins of 12 and a daughter of four.
We do not have a great deal of capital and I have not objected to my wife remaining in the family home until the children leave school, although this will leave me in rented accommodation, certainly for some period.
I have no real objection to this or to paying child support for the children, but I am very irritated that my wife is telling me that she wants spousal maintenance for herself. This seem to me unreasonable, although I have a large income.
Prior to our having the children, my wife worked and earned relatively well (£30,000 gross), but she says she had to work very long hours for this money and that she cannot go back to this sort of work and look after the children. It is uneconomic for her to employ a child minder, so she says, and I think she is probably right.
My own view is that my wife should just get a job, but her Solicitor is saying that she is entitled to spousal maintenance and that the fact that my wife is going to have to spend a significant amount of her future looking after the children as her primary obligation means that I am not entitled to seek a final termination of spousal maintenance until my wife can take a pension through a pension-sharing order.
I think this is unfair. What do you think?
In your particular case, it may well not be.
I assume that you took legal advice before entering into the Pre-Nuptial Agreement, as this is an absolute necessity, and if you did not, the Agreement may, in any event, not be binding.
However, even if you did take advice, there is a significant possibility, in your case, that a Court would order a payment from your wife to you for pressing house needs, not least because the ongoing maintenance of your relationship with your children is probably of even greater significance than the existence of your Pre-Nuptial Agreement, although the Agreement itself is a serious issue that any Court will have to take into account.
However, I think in your particular circumstances you will have a very good argument to put to the Court for the provision of reasonable housing for yourself from your wife’s assets, notwithstanding the Pre-Nuptial Agreement (Luckwell -v- Limata 2014 EWHC 536 [FAM]).