Common questions – Financial Matters

Q    Will I be able to apply for benefits when my spouse leaves?

This will depend upon your circumstances and whether you are working. We can give you basic advice concerning welfare benefits but for the more detailed advice you should approach the Benefits Agency, the Citizens Advice Bureau or www.turn2us.co.uk.

Q    Will I be able to stay in the house?

Again, this will depend upon the circumstances, but a lot will depend upon the level of equity in the property (i.e. the difference between the value of the property and the mortgage) and the various parties, mortgage raising capacities. The Court will consider the needs of the children when deciding the position concerning the house.

Q    Will my spouse be required to pay maintenance?

It depends on the income and outgoings of your spouse and your income and outgoings. Another factor will be the level of capital available and whether a “clean break” can be achieved. This is where you receive a lump sum of capital and, in return, your spouse will not be liable for your maintenance.

Q    Will my position be affected if I decided to remarry?

Any maintenance order would, as a matter of law, cease should you remarry. Also if you co-habit, it would be open to your spouse to apply to the Court for variation of any maintenance order, depending upon the financial position of your new partner.  It is vital, therefore, that you let us know if you decide to remarry during the case.

Q    Will my or my spouse’s debt be taken into account?

Yes, the Court must consider all the financial circumstances of the case, including both parties’ liabilities. The Court does not, however, have the power to move debt to a third party i.e. a credit card copy from one party to the other.

Q    What if I am not in a position to meet my financial obligations and outgoings?

If, when you separate from your spouse, you are not in a position to meet your financial obligations and outgoings, we will give you advice concerning the welfare benefits which are available to you and where to apply for those benefits. This will be basic advice concerning the payments which will be made on your behalf, by the Benefits Agency, both by way of income and payments in respect of any mortgage or rent, for which you are liable. You should seek more detailed advice from the Benefits Agency or through the website www.turn2us.co.uk.  We will also advise you on the possibility of applying for interim maintenance from your spouse. The Court has the power to order one party to pay maintenance to the other, pending the outcome of financial matters. This is an issue which clearly would have to be considered at the outset, but one must bear in mind the likely legal costs involved when considering such an application.

We hope  that you  have found this post useful, but if you require any further information on this subject or the fees we charge, including fixed fees, please do not hesitate in contacting Sara Fildes via email on sarafildes@owenkenny.co.uk or call her on 01243 790532.