Financial Settlements on Divorce - Your Income is Your Own
A recent case has shed some light on the approach that the courts may take in future cases in which the question of child maintenance is an issue and the family is wealthy. It involved an unmarried couple with a three year-old daughter who split up. The father had net assets (including the flat they lived in) of over £4m and had an income of about £500,000 a year. The mother had about £200,000 in assets and worked, earning £54,000 a year, employing a nanny for £2,000 per month in order to do so.
The mother sought maintenance payments totalling nearly £90,000 a year. She also sought payment of the rent and service charges on their flat. The father’s offer was substantially less, though he did offer to pay up to £700,000 for a home for the child. He held that to pay more would in effect allow his ex-partner to ‘accumulate capital for herself out of the maintenance payments. The courts will not allow child maintenance payments to provide ‘slack’ with which to fund a pension or savings.
The decision of the court was that the father should provide sufficient funds to purchase a house for £900,000 plus costs and pay periodical payments of £60,000 a year for the maintenance of the child. The mother’s ability to earn did not affect the amount of carer’s allowance used in the calculation: she would have to pay the nanny to continue working and could use the balance however she wished. There was no ‘slack’ in this instance.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.