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I divorced my wife four years ago and, in hindsight, foolishly agreed to pay her spousal maintenance until my youngest child was 18 and, looking back, do not think I took adequate advice.
Since then, my income has gone up but the spousal maintenance that I am paying to my wife remains the same.
My children, however, are obviously four years older and it seems to me that there is no reason why my wife should not work full time and in emails between us at the time of the settlement she told me that she would try and become independent and find work as soon as the children were old enough.
Not only has she not kept to this agreement, but I have now had a Court application from her in which she has asked for more spousal maintenance for herself. I assume that she has done this because she knows that my company is doing well, but she has already had capital from me and I simply do not want to keep paying her so much maintenance, let alone more, when she had promised to try and stand on her own feet.
I presume that you still have the emails between you and your wife setting out the reason behind your agreement to give her spousal maintenance in the first place. I certainly hope so because these are very relevant.
I think, in order to succeed in her application, your former wife is going to have to show the Court that she has tried, but found it impossible, to achieve the independence that you both anticipated for her and, bearing in mind the buoyant state of the job market, I would have thought this is going to be difficult, if not impossible for her, depending, of course, on her skills.
There is a very significant move within the Courts to requiring divorcing spouses to move forward to independent lives and to ending mutual financial dependence as soon as possible.
In the circumstances, I think your former wife will have to have a very compelling reason to increase her maintenance.