As a good lawyer I can explain how this works and help negotiate a fair deal or, if necessary, enforce it through the courts.
When married couples separate the question of how you are going to keep a roof over your head and food on the table will come up pretty soon if it has not already been thought of.
This is often a stressful issue to deal with and the advice of a good lawyer can often help make the result fairer, quicker and less costly for all concerned.
Parents have a legal duty to contribute to supporting their children. Where parents are living separately I can give guidance on how to deal with this
Separated couples that are still married also have a legal duty to support each other (known as aliment), depending on their individual needs and resources. A good lawyer can explain how this works and help negotiate a fair deal or, if necessary, enforce it through the courts.
What can you do to help yourself?
Get a firm grip of the family budget:
what is coming in and going out for everyone concerned?
Here is an Excel table that may help do this.
If you are comfortable to do it,
try to sit down with your spouse to exchange information so you can both think about what is possible and fair. It may even be possible to agree figures directly.
CAUTION: if you feel uncomfortable about agreeing, give yourself time and space to think and seek advice before giving an answer.
If you have not recently been working outside the home,
think about how to make the best of your abilities. It might be possible to seek paid work, or to do some retraining so you can make the most effective contribution you can: the law expects both parties to use whatever resources they have.
Gather the documents and information your lawyer will want to see when thinking what advice to give you, including:
- Your marriage certificate
- Children’s birth certificates
- Evidence to support the income and expenditure mentioned above
such as bank statements, salary slips, bills, business accounts, debt instalment payments and so on. CAUTION: if you remove your spouse’s private financial or other information without their consent you may create avoidable personal and legal problems.
- Information about any other resources
that may be available, such as savings, investments