Response to Lily

Posted By: suzy Miller on 22/10/2023 at 13:46

Hi Lily – when not married, your legal rights are minimal. You are not eligible for spousal maintenance or half the assets/pensions unless you have a legal agreement in place, or can prove ownership etc. If I remember correctly, you are the majority owner of the family home?

I think it would be better to get legal advice once you have a clear view of the situation. You may find that once you present a suggested split via mediation, that is all sorted. He needs to contribute to your daughter’s needs but it’s better to present those costs via the mediation and get him to agree.

You can access a calculator (via the ToolKit) for estimating his legal obligation as a % of his salary, but unless he has a very high salary, it will probably be a lot less than what you actually need. So cut a deal in mediation if you can! However, try to get money up front – because he could stop payouts at any time and then you will be back to getting the Child Support Agency to chase him for much less.

Sorry to be so blunt and luckily you have your name on the house deeds/mortgage (?) so you’re in a better situation than I was. The more you can show via the financial plan your daughter’s financial requirements and get an agreement via mediation, the better.

Have you got the parenting plan together yet with Jenni? That links well with a financial plan and also is a good way to get him into mediation (don’t start off talking about the money – start talking about your daughter/access etc). Don’t worry if you don’t reach agreement – you just want him to trust the mediator.

Shall I introduce you to Joanne Phillips – one of the mediators – as she will be able to give you a realistic view of your entitlements and help persuade your STBX to mediate. I strongly recommend you start with Joanne helping you both to discuss the parenting plan so your STBX can build confidence and trust in the process.

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