Home > Ask Our Experts > Do I Have to Pay My Wife a Certain Amount?

Do I Have to Pay My Wife a Certain Amount?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 27 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Maintenance Separation Divorce Lawyer

Q.

My wife and I have been separated for approximately 1 year. She and our 5-year-old daughter have been living in our house and I have been renting a flat. I have been paying around 50% of my net salary to my wife and am finding it increasingly difficult to keep my overdraft under control.

Due to the rising cost of living, my wife has asked me if I can contribute more money and I cannot. My wife is unable to work due to incapacity/disability and I would be obliged if you could advise me on what legal obligations I have.

(J.M, 26 November 2008)

A.

It sounds as, if part, you’ve become a victim of the credit crunch. You’ve tried to be very fair to your wife and daughter, but maybe the time has come to hammer out a proper separation agreement and a divorce.

You don’t mention any formal separation agreement, so it may well have been done informally. Even in this instance, you should have informed the benefits office, if you or your wife were receiving benefits, as well as HMRC (applicable only if there are tax credits involved), and the local council (for council tax purposes, council tax benefit or housing benefit).

At this point, a formal separation agreement would be useful for you. It lays out what your financial obligations are in terms of child support for your daughter and maintenance for your wife. You’ve been very generous, but obviously you can’t sustain that. If you can work out the details between you beforehand, then it will reduce your solicitor costs when you have it all set out legally.

However, the two of you might also consider going directly for a divorce if there’s no chance of reconciliation. The more you can agree between you in advance, the smoother the process and the lower the cost of the lawyers (see our article Divorce: Your Action Plan for more information). You will obviously need to provide Child Support Payments, but this will be far less than you’re paying out now.

Will you have to pay maintenance to your wife? There’s a very good chance that you will, but with good negotiation it should be that you’ll end up paying out quite a bit less than the current 50% of your net salary. Your wife is obviously eligible for a disability allowance, and after divorce might well qualify for housing benefit.

The amounts, though, are something yet to be worked out, preferably amicably between the two of you, or possibly between the lawyers or mandated by the court at the time of divorce. How long you might have to pay maintenance depends on the circumstances, although if your wife re-married it would definitely end. There’s also the possibility of negotiation that gives your wife a greater share in your house in return for lower maintenance payments.

If you have a pension through work, you also need to be aware of pension sharing, which will be affected by all this.

Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Kellich - Your Question:
Well I'm not divorced yet there's been talk of it we did separate a boats 4 years ago we've been married since 2010 together I mean she did cheat on me back in 2013 and we did separate due to that she also left the province to gather her thoughts you slept with 5 different guys in a matter of six months started relationship with one for about 3 weeks cheated on him and now we kind of worked it out got back together and nothing's really been the same we moved to another small town and things started getting good and she ended up starting meet new friends saying that she doesn't have a life saying that I don't love her I'm not sure what to do we have for kids she deleted me from Facebook she's deleted some of my family members from Facebook all the red flags are there I just don't know where I stand and what I should do from here I'd like to get somebody to talk to you so I can not mess my life up anymore just really don't know what to do

Our Response:
If you wish to communicate with other fathers, then you may wish to join the forum here .
SeparatedDads - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:49 PM
Well I'm not divorced yet there's been talk of it we did separate a boats 4 years ago we've been married since 2010 together I mean she did cheat on me back in 2013 and we did separate due to that she also left the province to gather her thoughts you slept with 5 different guys in a matter of six months started relationship with one for about 3 weeks cheated on him and now we kind of worked it out got back together and nothing's really been the same we moved to another small town and things started getting good and she ended up starting meet new friends saying that she doesn't have a life saying that I don't love her I'm not sure what to do we have for kids she deleted me from Facebook she's deleted some of my family members from Facebook all the red flags are there I just don't know where I stand and what I should do from here I'd like to get somebody to talk to you so I can not mess my life up anymore just really don't know what to do
Kellich - 27-Jul-17 @ 8:20 AM
JA - Your Question:
Hello, I would like to share my situation to get some info on what I can expect to happen. And any advice. My wife cheated on me, said she wants to leave me and is now seeing the other man. We have a 2 year old child. We are currently still living together and own a joint mortgage.(i paid the full 20k deposit) She is on a low income but is looking to increase her contract to enable free childcare. I'm on a higher wage than her (30k per year) as it stands she wants me to move out, pay csa, pay half the mortgage, and pay for her leased car. I obviously want to pay for my child. But find it hard to accept to pay for a house I would not be living in and a car that is not mine. Does anyone know if I am best taking it to the courts to decide or just agree her terms?

Our Response:
You can see how much child maintenance you would be paying via the link here. With regards to the car, you do not have to pay your ex anything towards this unless your name is on the loan. Legally you are obliged to pay towards the mortgage if you own the house together. However, you may wish to seek legal advice to see whether your wife has the option to buy you out or whether you should jointly decide whether to sell. Legal advice would be advisable here in order to explore your best options. Mediation may be the best way to sort your issues out if you cannot resolve them between yourselves.
SeparatedDads - 17-Jul-17 @ 2:38 PM
Hello, I would like to share my situation to get some info on what I can expect to happen. And any advice. My wife cheated on me, said she wants to leave me and is now seeing the other man. We have a 2 year old child. We are currently still living together and own a joint mortgage.(i paid the full 20k deposit) She is on a low income but is looking to increase her contract to enable free childcare. I'm on a higher wage than her (30k per year)as it stands she wants me to move out, pay csa, pay half the mortgage, and pay for her leased car. I obviously want to pay for my child. But find it hard to accept to pay for a house I would not be living in and a car that is not mine. Does anyone know if I am best taking it to the courts to decide or just agree her terms?
JA - 16-Jul-17 @ 11:01 AM
Will - Your Question:
Hi, I've been split from my wife for over two years. We have a 5 year old daughter, who spends the same number of nights with me as her mother. I'm still currently paying half the mortgage and contributing to clothes and child care each month. My ex is trying to sell the house and then both of them move in with her boyfriend. Access will not change, but she wants to arrange child maintenance before they move in, why would she need to do this first? I'm not trying to get out of any payments, but if we both have her the same amount of nights, but my ex thinks that because she has her extra hours after school two days a week, I should pay more.

Our Response:
Possibly the best way to arrange child maintenance is to use the CMS calculator via the link here . This gives you a good benchmark. As the non-resident father, child maintenance is based upon the amount of nights you have your child staying over. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:34 PM
Hi, I've been split from my wife for over two years. We have a 5 year old daughter, who spends the same number of nights with me as her mother. I'm still currently paying half the mortgage and contributing to clothes and child care each month. My ex is trying to sell the house and then both of them move in with her boyfriend. Access will not change, but she wants to arrange child maintenance before they move in, why would she need to do this first? I'm not trying to get out of any payments, but if we both have her the same amount of nights, but my ex thinks that because she has her extra hours after school two days a week, I should pay more.
Will - 13-Jul-17 @ 9:04 PM
I separate from one year ago she have boyfriend I have two kids i paying my80% income gas,electricity bill,rent shopping etc I have no much wages But should I do
R - 8-Jun-17 @ 12:22 AM
Hello there. I'm going through a very messy divorce at the minute. My wife asked for a divorce back in 2010 and still managed to live in the same house with me for 6 years. I Still paid for things like her caravan, eyes lasered, cars and such even when I did not need to. When we went to mediation in 2010 she said and wrote down that she would not go for spousal maintenance and any pensions from before we were even together, she has now claimed she wants to go for these. She is now saying I need to pay for her bills and if I do not cooperate she will take me to court and I will need to foot the expenses of that too. Is this right?! I pay her £800 a month already for child maintenance. She's asking for a further £400 a month for herself and now she's expecting me to pay her bills. Her son is 15 and she is claiming to the solicitors she cannot work because of him. Can I have adivce on how the courts will see this? Am I right in thinking I do not need to pay her bills for her? Thank you in advance
Bridge - 28-Apr-17 @ 2:06 PM
brokenman - Your Question:
HiI have recently split form my wife due to my affair, we should have split. I have admitted to my misgivings. I still live at home as my wife.ex.and 2 yar old daughter.is studying finance for the rest of the year and will be on a salary of 40 to 80 k after next year whn she returns to work. I have singed a letter a long time ago saying I have no interest in the house( obviously I didn't see an affair coming) there is a back story with her but we will keep it simple for now. I recently sold my flat and paid 80k in to paying of ours loans and house improvement. I am currently paying for everything like bills and mortgage even though it is her name and I will not be getting anything form it when I do move out. questions.>am I entitled to anything. I know I signed something but still.to put 80 k in to it and get nothing when we split as she wants to keep house.>do I have to pay for all this still. I want to support her to qualify and be financially secure for her and my daughter but..im loosing patience with her and it all>she will get legal advise soon so what am I expecting her to say. She has already told me I HAVE to pay for it all.but really? HELP

Our Response:
You don't say how the letter was signed (whether you agreed between you or whether is was through a solicitor etc). Yes you have a right to challenge this if there has been a variation in circumstances and/or you can prove you have spent money on refurbishments etc as this will be taken into consideration if the matter goes to financial arbitration or court. However, you would need to seek legal advice on this as it is also unlikely a court would force your ex to sell the property due to the fact you have a two-year-old child (a court will always consider the child's best interests first and keeping a roof over her head is of paramount importance). Please note, you will not be judged on having an affair (should the matter go to court), this is a non-contributory issue.
SeparatedDads - 4-Apr-17 @ 10:23 AM
hi I have recently split form my wife due to my affair, we should have split. I have admitted to my misgivings. I still live at home as my wife..ex..and 2 yar old daughter...is studying finance for the rest of the year and will be on a salary of 40 to 80 k after next year whn she returns to work. I have singed a letter a long time ago saying I have no interest in the house( obviously I didn't see an affair coming) there is a back story with her but we will keep it simple for now. I recently sold my flat and paid 80k in to paying of ours loans and house improvement. I am currently paying for everything like bills and mortgage even though it is her name and I will not be getting anything form it when I do move out. questions. >am I entitled to anything. I know I signed something but still......to put 80 k in to it and get nothing when we split as she wants to keep house. >do I have to pay for all this still. I want to support her to qualify and be financially secure for her and my daughter but .........im loosing patience with her and it all >she will get legal advise soon so what am I expecting her to say. She has already told me I HAVE to pay for it all.....but really? HELP
brokenman - 3-Apr-17 @ 11:55 AM
Hi I'm seperated from my wife because I.Having an affair .. I own my own business which my wife helps out in by answering the phone ... do I have to pay her maintenance and wages while we're seperated . Also my wife was paying phone bill for my business and I borrowed money off her .do I have to pay her back
Tez - 28-Feb-17 @ 11:14 PM
Sir, by reading the above discussion while separating, husband has to pay some percent of salary amount regularly or every month as per the law. My point is why can't this percentage of salary could not be considered tax free without being divorced? generally, a salaried person has to pay double-triple taxes for the amount earned by him. consider my salary is Rs. 100/- after (TDS by the employer @ 30.90%) the net salary in hand will be 100-30.90=69.10. When the same net amount goes for purchasing any thing he has to pay VAT, and other taxes. The ultimate net salary comes to Rs. 50/- only. Please suggest Is there any law exist for this? sunil
sunil - 22-Feb-17 @ 6:56 AM
Hello My wife and I have been separated for over a year but living under same roof. She has taken my daughter (7yrs old) away, she now lives at her grandparent's place, I have very little contact - once in 4-6 weeks. I give her 10% of my income as I have huge debt from a collapsed business. I am paying all the debts. She is not paying her half share of the bills and at time her 50% share of the mortgage. She earns more money than me but everytime she says she has spend extra on my daughter and I have not contributed therefore she is cutting her bills/mortgage contributions. She is also refusing to pay an her half of an unsecured loan (under my name) which we took out to buy the share property together. Money paid towards deposit. What can I do to make her pay her half?
Becane16 - 7-Jan-17 @ 5:24 PM
DT - Your Question:
My wife and I have separated after 9 years of marriage, I'm still paying the mortgage 10 months on, I also moved out 10 months ago. Will this factor into the settlement should it go to court? Thanks

Our Response:
You may wish to seek legal advice, as dependent upon your circumstances and whether you have children, it may not figure in the settlement.
SeparatedDads - 11-Nov-16 @ 12:13 PM
My wife and I have separated after 9 years of marriage, I'm still paying the mortgage 10 months on, I also moved out 10 months ago. Will this factor into the settlement should it go to court? Thanks
DT - 10-Nov-16 @ 3:07 PM
NW - Your Question:
My wife and I look set to separate as we are not getting on, we have 2 children (ages 5 and 7), she doesn't work but said she will look for a part time workShe is in contact with the local council to see if they will help with the rent we currently pay, she keeps saying that is my responsibility to pay the rent and provide a roof over thire heads (of course would not want to see them homeless) os the correct?

Our Response:
You will be required to pay child maintenance to your children by law, if you are earning which means you are under an obligation to continue to support your children until they leave full-time education. You have no obligations to financially support your wife once you separate. Whatever you pay above and beyond child maintenance will be discretionary, meaning if your wish to continue to support your wife with rent and bills etc, it is up to you. Please see CMS Options calculator to see how much you will be required to pay, if your ex makes a claim here. Once you and your wife separate, you can either come to a family-based child maintenance arrangement based upon what you both agree you should pay. Alternatively, your wife can approach the CMS. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 10-Nov-16 @ 11:07 AM
My wife and I look set to separate as we are not getting on, we have 2 children (ages 5 and 7), she doesn't work but said she will look for a part time work She is in contact with the local council to see if they will help with the rent we currently pay, she keeps saying that is my responsibility to pay the rent and provide a roof over thire heads (of course would not want to see them homeless) os the correct?
NW - 9-Nov-16 @ 2:52 PM
My wife and I are freshly divorced, no solicitor was involved, now I recently cashed in an insurance, & my ex wife got half in a cheque, I needed her to sign a form. Am I entitled to have it back?
Bill. - 3-Nov-16 @ 1:34 PM
I am leaving my wife and 9 year old son, House is on both name. I am planning to get saperated after 11 years of bullying relationship. There is still £34,000 left on morgage. I am 45 years old while my wife is 47 years old Wife parents paid around £20,000 as deposit for the house and wife paid around 1 year mortgage installments befire we got married. I am paying all bills, Council tax and morgage for last 11 years. I earn £47.000pa and also pay around £6,000 as travel cost to london where l work My wife left her part time job and doesn't want to work anymore All bills and council rax on joint names My questions are 1. Do l still have to pay council tax as l will not be leaving in the house but house is still on my name 2. Do l have to pay all other bills, electric, gas, water, internet etc 3. How much money l have to pay for my son per month 4. How much l have to pay to my wife per month. 5. Can govt force my wife to work as she just doesn't want to work and also not have enough pension years contribution 6. Will my travel cost to work be considered when deciding child or spouse maintaince pay out. Many Thanks Regards Paul
Paul - 20-Aug-16 @ 7:50 AM
After finding out that my wife was having an affair, I have recently agreed to a divorce.We have two children.I make $3550 (after tax) a month.My wife makes about an average of $500 per week, but she is a server at a restaurant and only claims bare minimum of her cash tips. Will this hurt me in the long run? We have agreed to both have 50/50 custody of the children with me moving out.If I sign a lease at another home, will that cost be taken into consideration if she takes me to court for more money in the future?
John - 5-Aug-16 @ 11:41 PM
I have been separated from my wife for almost 2 yrs I pay her to make up her rent and pay her gas and electricity I've given her additional money over this period but I am struggling myself I can't afford to divorce her do I have to give her money and if so why I've supported her for almost ,30yrs why should I still have to give her money . Does a divorce come into effect softer 5yrs and she will get half my pension that I've worked and paied into not her getting annoyed about shuck have to give her my money I give it her for 30yrs so why still have to give it to her ??
dee - 11-Jun-16 @ 11:22 PM
Recently divorced. Have 2 children with ex wife. 9 year old daughter lives with mom and 16 year old daughter lives with me. Ex wife doesn't work, claims benefits, I work full time. I applied for tax credits but not received any yet. I have 9 year old 2 sleeps a week and more in holidays. I am giving ex wife £100 p/m for 9 year old. Dont receive anything for 16 year old off her. Should I be giving her money still?
Rich - 28-Mar-16 @ 1:34 PM
jd220215 - Your Question:
If my wife and I of 2 years have separated and we have no children and I paid all the mortgage on my house that I owned before we met that we lived in (she has her own flat) due to the fact that she was setting up a business. Why do I have to pay her a settlement as she will be better off than me in the future and she paid nothing to the mortgage while she lived in the house, this seems completely unfair as we are on approximately the same salary (30K) We separated as we stopped having intimate relations and there was no other party involved and it was brought up by her that we should split and I agreed with her, better for both of us in the long term.Many Thanks for your response in advance

Our Response:
You don't say who has issued this 'settlement'. If you are going on suggestions from her solicitor, then obviously your ex's solicitor will be acting in her favour. If the award has been issued through the courts, then we cannot comment on any court decision, as the decision will have been made on the information gathered and collated. Therefore, I'm afraid it makes it difficult to comment on your question.
SeparatedDads - 2-Feb-16 @ 11:11 AM
If my wife and i of 2 years have separated and we have no children and i paid all the mortgage on my house that i owned before we met that we lived in (she has her own flat) due to the fact that she was setting up abusiness. Why do i have to pay her a settlement as she will be better off than me in the future and she paid nothing to the mortgage while she lived in the house, this seems completely unfair as we are on approximately the same salary (30K) We separated as we stopped having intimate relations and there was no other party involved and it was brought up by her that we should split and i agreed with her, better for both of us in the long term. Many Thanks for your response in advance
jd220215 - 1-Feb-16 @ 5:26 PM
D - Your Question:
My ex wife lives with me and she doesnt thank she has to pay rent. I believe she does she makes 1000 a month and I have been paying her rent. Im tired of it and want to stop paying for her rent.

Our Response:
If she is your ex wife and you are not living together as man and wife, then your wife should in fairness contribute to the finances. However, this is something you would need to agree between you, as with any person you are sharing accommodation with.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jan-16 @ 10:06 AM
My ex wife lives with me and she doesnt thank she has to pay rent.I believe she does she makes 1000a month and i have been paying her rent. Im tired of it and want to stop paying for her rent.
D - 24-Jan-16 @ 2:30 AM
@itsveryover - I would expect your solicitor to have objected to putting you under this financial strain. You are not legally bound to pay for your ex's rent or utility bills (unless the money is coming from a joint or marital account). You are only legally bound to pay child support. I should seek some legal advice asap.
Matt - 21-Jan-16 @ 11:06 AM
My wife moved out of our rented house with our children after she started divorce proceedings against me and I had to pay 6 months rent upfront for her to be able to get a flat temporarily while we agreed the settlement. I also moved out and got a cheaper flat instead. She then refused a very good offer for a settlement, which would have allowed her to buy a suitable property for her and the children. As my income is considerably lower than she thought it was, she is not happy that I could not afford to pay her any spousal maintenance on top of child maintenance. She could work as she was before (earning more than me!), but has not worked at all for 7 months and I am having to pay for all her utilities and council tax as well as my own and a generous weekly amount on top. We had an FDA hearing a couple of months ago and her solicitors asked me so many trivial questions about my income and expenses it took me a month to answer them all. We are heading towards a FDH hearing soon, as her solicitors have not made a counter offer yet. Her solicitors have now demanded that I find and pay for another 6 months rent in advance, as apparently the landlords will evict her if I don't. I have already borrowed to the limit of my overdraft, credit cards, family etc. and I don't know what I am expected to do now. What do you advise I do?
itsveryover - 20-Jan-16 @ 6:15 PM
mavrickman - Your Question:
I been separted for 8 yrs she took me to court 5yrs ago and the judge order to pay $500.00 a month I ask my lawyer how long I have pay her this for life.this true

Our Response:
I'm afraid as we are a UK-based website, we can't advise on US-based law. You would have to speak with your lawyer. However, if your circumstances have changed and you can no longer pay, then you may be able to have this re-assessed through the courts.
SeparatedDads - 26-Nov-15 @ 10:45 AM
I been separted for 8 yrs she took me to court 5yrs ago and the judge order to pay $500.00 a month I ask my lawyer how long I have pay her this for life.this true
mavrickman - 25-Nov-15 @ 3:25 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.