Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 3:48 PM
    • 1,305Posts
    • 15,347Thanks
    Beki88
    What counts as Spousal Maintenance payment?
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:48 PM
    What counts as Spousal Maintenance payment? 13th Feb 18 at 3:48 PM
    Hi, just wondered if anyone could clarify this situation for me.

    Have been separated from Husband for just over two years, currently not divorced.

    He pays half towards the following:
    Mortgage
    Two loans (taken out to improve property)
    Buildings insurance
    Income insurance
    Personal insurance

    They all come out of my account which is why he sends me half of the money. The plan is once I am financially able to I will take over the payments for everything, other than the income and personal insurance which we will then take out our own single policies.

    This is not a court order, but an agreement between the two of us as he is a higher earner and I had to leave my job when he left.

    Would this be counted as spousal maintenance or not?

    I am moving on to Universal Credits at some point and I would like to know whether it is likely to be considered spousal maintenance as I understand they take that into account when looking at income.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    • 4,950 Posts
    • 4,973 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    Hi, just wondered if anyone could clarify this situation for me.

    Have been separated from Husband for just over two years, currently not divorced.

    He pays half towards the following:
    Mortgage
    Two loans (taken out to improve property)
    Buildings insurance
    Income insurance
    Personal insurance

    They all come out of my account which is why he sends me half of the money. The plan is once I am financially able to I will take over the payments for everything, other than the income and personal insurance which we will then take out our own single policies.

    This is not a court order, but an agreement between the two of us as he is a higher earner and I had to leave my job when he left.

    Would this be counted as spousal maintenance or not?

    I am moving on to Universal Credits at some point and I would like to know whether it is likely to be considered spousal maintenance as I understand they take that into account when looking at income.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by Beki88
    It's complex, but I would say no at this stage. Assuming you are keeping track of the payments as part of any future equity dispute.


    IE you are not claiming to pay the whole mortgage etc on your own
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 4:00 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:00 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:00 PM
    It's complex, but I would say no at this stage. Assuming you are keeping track of the payments as part of any future equity dispute.


    IE you are not claiming to pay the whole mortgage etc on your own
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Thank you.

    Without going into it all, the % of payments he has made will then be used as the % he will get when the house is sold or remortgaged, as it was a council house, the value will go up considerably compared to what it was valued at when we purchased it. That will mean he obviously gets more back than he has paid in so to speak, so in that respect it isn't income but having seen how complex UC are it wouldn't surprise me if they classed it as income.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 13th Feb 18, 4:13 PM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 3,464 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:13 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:13 PM
    Having read this link i disagree that they will disregarded for UC purposes. They are classed as other income and payments will be deducted from UC £1 for £1. Unless i'm reading it wrong, if that's the case then i apologise on advance.
    https://www.cripps.co.uk/family-law/does-spousal-maintenance-affect-universal-credit/
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    • 4,950 Posts
    • 4,973 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    Having read this link i disagree that they will disregarded for UC purposes. They are classed as other income and payments will be deducted from UC £1 for £1. Unless i'm reading it wrong, if that's the case then i apologise on advance.
    https://www.cripps.co.uk/family-law/does-spousal-maintenance-affect-universal-credit/
    Originally posted by poppy12345


    It depends I think if the OP is claiming the full mortgage as an outgoing.
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    I read that link as well. But the payments I get aren't technically spousal maintenance as it's not court ordered. I can't seem to get clarification anywhere as to whether it is only counted if it is court ordered. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    It depends I think if the OP is claiming the full mortgage as an outgoing.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Haven't had to as yet. I don't think.

    When he left I was getting income support, I gave them proof of the mortgage and other payments and showed exactly what he was paying to me. They said it wasn't a problem or classed as income. Tax credits don't take it into account either.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 13th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 3,464 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
    Haven't had to as yet. I don't think.

    When he left I was getting income support, I gave them proof of the mortgage and other payments and showed exactly what he was paying to me. They said it wasn't a problem or classed as income. Tax credits don't take it into account either.
    Originally posted by Beki88
    Tax credits or legacy benefits such as IS don't class it as Income. UC does. Have you asked your local CAB for advice?
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 4:27 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:27 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:27 PM
    Tax credits or legacy benefits such as IS don't class it as Income. UC does. Have you asked your local CAB for advice?
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    Can not get an appointment with them, not even a phone appointment.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 13th Feb 18, 4:31 PM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 3,464 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Can not get an appointment with them, not even a phone appointment.
    Originally posted by Beki88
    That's very often the case because they're always so busy. We do have some members here that work for CAB and some the used to, hopefully they will see this and give their views.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 13th Feb 18, 4:38 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    But the payments I get aren't technically spousal maintenance as it's not court ordered.
    It could be construed as a contractual obligation based on "consensus ad idem". Some contracts are court ordered but there is no need for a court if there is an agreement. Is the agreement documented**?

    ** Regular payments into a bank account is also evidence of an agreement even if it is not documented.
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 13th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    It could be construed as a contractual obligation based on "consensus ad idem". Some contracts are court ordered but there is no need for a court if there is an agreement. Is the agreement documented**?

    ** Regular payments into a bank account is also evidence of an agreement even if it is not documented.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    Nothing documented as such other than the payments. He sends as a whole payment which includes maintenance for the children as well. He did used to break the payments up but it was easier to just send as one payment.
    I did seek legal advice ( the free half an hour) regarding getting it documented as a clean break, which they advised a judge would have to be satisfied with the current agreement but I could not afford the fees so we just stuck with the verbal agreement.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 13th Feb 18, 6:09 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    You appear to be most of the way there apart from some documentation. Would your ex be willing to commit to some form of documentation - if only for the purposes of showing the UC office.

    Going through the steps.

    Your ex has a common law duty to pay reasonable maintenance for you as a transition to being independent. Whatever is paid may be more than reasonable (which is not defined but there will be guidance out there) but it cannot be less than you are due. If it is you need to go to court - but not advisable unless you happen to be a WAG

    Documented is better than non-documented and you can both draft up an agreement to suit with whatever caveats / time limitations you both agree - subject to the comment above about it being less than you are due.

    UC will as they always are, restricted to definitions of what SM is and you should ask them and explain your current set up.

    An additional point that you might not have considered is that the amounts can be capitalised as a one-off payment essentially buying out the liability/duty your ex has. This may be a different way around your specific issues / circumstances.

    So the people who have the answers are your ex and UC.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 13th Feb 18, 10:55 PM
    • 11,913 Posts
    • 13,770 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Hi, just wondered if anyone could clarify this situation for me.

    Have been separated from Husband for just over two years, currently not divorced.

    He pays half towards the following:
    Mortgage
    Two loans (taken out to improve property)
    Buildings insurance
    Income insurance
    Personal insurance

    They all come out of my account which is why he sends me half of the money. The plan is once I am financially able to I will take over the payments for everything, other than the income and personal insurance which we will then take out our own single policies.

    This is not a court order, but an agreement between the two of us as he is a higher earner and I had to leave my job when he left.

    Would this be counted as spousal maintenance or not?

    I am moving on to Universal Credits at some point and I would like to know whether it is likely to be considered spousal maintenance as I understand they take that into account when looking at income.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by Beki88
    I am wondering whether the liability for the payments would make a difference.

    So, is it a joint mortgage and in whose name(s) are the other payments ?

    I think if it can be shown that he has liability for the payments then it wouldn't be counted as spousal maintenance.

    The fact that the money goes directly into your account may be a problem. If he has liability for any of the payments then he should be paying these directly.
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 14th Feb 18, 1:25 AM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    I am wondering whether the liability for the payments would make a difference.

    So, is it a joint mortgage and in whose name(s) are the other payments ?

    I think if it can be shown that he has liability for the payments then it wouldn't be counted as spousal maintenance.

    The fact that the money goes directly into your account may be a problem. If he has liability for any of the payments then he should be paying these directly.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Joint mortgage both names on it. Out of the two loans one was in joint names, the other was just in my name but taken out whilst together for the house, heís due to stop paying around July time for that.
    The life and income insurance was a dual policy in both our names. The buildings insurance was just in my name I think it is due for renewal in a couple of months so canít remember for certain. They wouldnít allow it from two bank accounts which is why it was left just coming out of mine as thatís how itís always been set up.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Feb 18, 6:00 AM
    • 3,332 Posts
    • 1,450 Thanks
    huckster
    I am wondering whether the liability for the payments would make a difference.

    So, is it a joint mortgage and in whose name(s) are the other payments ?

    I think if it can be shown that he has liability for the payments then it wouldn't be counted as spousal maintenance.

    The fact that the money goes directly into your account may be a problem. If he has liability for any of the payments then he should be paying these directly.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    I don't know about this specific issue, but the elephant in the room, is "i will be moving to Universal Credit at some point"

    Well by the time you move at some point in the future rules may be changed or your circumstances might change, so it depends on when the move to UC is likely to happen.

    The managed migration is happening between 2019 and 2022.

    And the other question is what is your current position e.g disability affecting what work you can do, whether you have childcare responsibilities, children with disabilities etc etc etc.

    If you go to any advisor at CAB or elsewhere, they will need to go through every aspect of your life position to understand what benefits you might have entitlement to, what hurdles you would need to cross etc.

    Perhaps register with a benefits calculator such as Turn2us or Entitledto and take a look at the information required to calculate entitlement. It might help you raise questions which you can get answered at some point.

    Why did you have to leave your job when your husband left you?
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 14th Feb 18, 8:37 AM
    • 11,913 Posts
    • 13,770 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Joint mortgage both names on it. Out of the two loans one was in joint names, the other was just in my name but taken out whilst together for the house, heís due to stop paying around July time for that.
    The life and income insurance was a dual policy in both our names. The buildings insurance was just in my name I think it is due for renewal in a couple of months so canít remember for certain. They wouldnít allow it from two bank accounts which is why it was left just coming out of mine as thatís how itís always been set up.
    Originally posted by Beki88
    The simple answer is for him to pay these 'bills' directly from his bank account and you to reimburse him from yours. The child maintenance can be put into your bank account as child maintenance is not seen as income for UC.

    Yes, this may be a pain but can be easily sorted. Just a case of knowing how much is his liability and you giving him this amount. If he wishes to pay something that he has no liability for then include it in the child maintenance.
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 14th Feb 18, 4:14 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    I don't know about this specific issue, but the elephant in the room, is "i will be moving to Universal Credit at some point"

    And the other question is what is your current position e.g disability affecting what work you can do, whether you have childcare responsibilities, children with disabilities etc etc etc.

    Perhaps register with a benefits calculator such as Turn2us or Entitledto and take a look at the information required to calculate entitlement.

    Why did you have to leave your job when your husband left you?
    Originally posted by huckster
    Thank you for replying.
    "At some point" is going to be pretty soon just unsure of the exact date. My new partner moved in Friday so I ended my claim with income support, tax credits etc. I finally managed to complete the UC form Monday and verified identity on Tuesday (yesterday). At that point it said if I am entitled I will be paid in 40 something days, that has now changed to 30 something days.

    My circumstances are I have CFS/ME which limits what work I can do (I do not claim benefits for this as I had enough stress trying to cope with the separation and him cheating), but also I have two children (aged 13 & 8. They were 11 and 5 when he left), my eldest is in receipt of high rate care DLA which entitles me to carers allowance. My new partner does work full time. My eldest is not biologically his child however he does have parental responsibilities for him which was arranged through all the correct paperwork.

    The above is the reason why I had to leave work. I was only part time as it was all I could manage whilst my ex worked full time. That allowed me to still manage to care for my son without making myself too ill. When my ex left I was unable to manage all caring responsibilities (house, children and myself) and work as well. So obviously the job had to stop.

    This was the reason why he still paid half the mortgage as he knew without him paying I would not be able to afford it on my own. Once the payments for the loans finish (2019 and 2020) that money I would no longer be spending would then be able to pay for the mortgage although I was unsure when he would be able to actually remove his name from it.
    Due to it being a council house we can not sell the house yet as per the stipulations of buying it otherwise we have to repay the council the same % of discount based on the valuation which would leave a large deficit and make it so I would be unable to purchase another property. When he left I also had to use some of the loan money to support myself and the children financially as for several months he did not provide any financial support, so he decided that I should pay for the money I spent myself, due to this he will actually stop paying one of the loans later this year so the money he sends me each month will go down.

    During my free consultation with the solicitor I was advised that I could seek financial support longer term due to my health and my sons, however it was not something I wished to pursue, and I stated I only wanted him to pay what he was liable for until I was in a better position to take full control of the mortgage. I am still not fully in that position yet, and due to my new partners poor credit rating I can not put him on the mortgage nor would I purely to avoid being in this same position again should anything go wrong.

    I did look on entitledto but it did not seem to take everything into consideration from my circumstances so I got more of a general "quote".

    My new partner is not on the best of wages (slightly above NMW), and from the calculations it looks as we will already be worse off on UC than we would have been on TC however we are in an area where they no longer accept claims for legacy benefits when a change of circs happen so the last thing I want is to end up in a position where I can not afford to keep the house or pay off the debts etc however I am keen to stay "legal" by declaring him as living with me, which I have done. I just feel like I'm getting the bad end of the deal if that makes sense.

    Sorry for such a long post I am just worried sick about it all.

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • Beki88
    • By Beki88 9th Apr 18, 11:26 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 15,347 Thanks
    Beki88
    Just thought I would post an update on this in case anyone else looks.
    After being assured by the person I had my interview with at the local job centre that it would definitely not count as maintenance, my first payment was set to be reduced as someone decided it would.

    I then arranged with the mortgage and loan companies for myself and my ex to pay via standing order separately. They were not keen on the idea as they prefer to have a direct debit which means they are in control but we got it done in the end. I contacted my case handler who then arranged for the reduction to be cancelled as I was no longer in receipt of said "income".

    Fast forward two weeks after receiving our first payment I have had 2 messages telling me that a decision maker is looking into my case. I don't know whether that is to decide if it is or isn't income - in any case no longer an issue for me personally now seen as separate payments have been arranged, or whether they are going to change the decision of last months award.

    I argued my case that it was not spousal maintenance, but as far as they were concerned any money coming to me that was not for my children meant it was considered as spousal maintenance and therefore unearned income. So to anyone else in the same position please be aware of this, as it would have heavily reduced my monthly award, putting me at risk of not being able to pay my loan/mortgage and I would hate to see that happen to anyone. Hopefully I will have some more answers soon regarding the decision maker and a little more clarity on the situation.

    Thanks to everyone who replied on this thread by the way

    Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok then it isn't the end
    • Danday
    • By Danday 9th Apr 18, 11:41 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    Danday
    wrong thread
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

112Posts Today

1,288Users online

Martin's Twitter