Financial settlements when relationships fail

Nicola Furmston

In a recent case a judge warned wives not to date whilst the issue of a financial settlement on divorce was unresolved.

The judge in the case was asked to weigh up the likelihood of the wife cohabiting or remarrying with her boyfriend of nine months. The judge attached considerable weight to the idea that the wife would do just that and reduced her settlement as a result, largely on the basis that the new boyfriend should eventually take some financial responsibility for the wife.

The case has raised questions amongst experienced family lawyers.

As the law stands a cohabitee from whom a wife splits has no legal responsibility for the payment of maintenance, in the same way that a spouse does. If a new relationship is short-lived, this can leave a wife high and dry. On the other hand, husbands who are paying out in the knowledge that a new relationship is likely to be permanent often feel aggrieved.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it may be worthwhile to consult with a family solicitor to gain some useful advice.

Nicola Furmston is a solicitor specialising in the family field at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

Divorce Solicitors Suffolk – click here for more information on our services