An often under-utilised piece of evidence obtained by people claiming adjustment for spousal maintenance or economic disparity following the end of a relationship is a report commissioned from an expert.

A well-structured report can provide independent evidence that may well tip an application for spousal maintenance or economic disparity to your favour. It can be an investment worthwhile considering.

When determining whether spousal maintenance is payable, the usually lesser-earning spouse will need to provide evidence of their income and expenditure over the last 12 months of the relationship. 

The Court will compare this against their post relationship income and liabilities, and assess what may be needed for that person to maintain a comparable lifestyle.  Provision of bank accounts and balance sheets are often not enough when trying to convince the Court that spousal maintenance should be payable.

In terms of economic disparity, the lesser-earning spouse will need to prove to the Court that at the time of separation they were earning significantly less in terms of disposable income than the other spouse, and that this discrepancy in income was the result of the division of functions in the relationship. 

This can take many forms, but it is often when one spouse stays home and sacrifices their career development to look after children, or when they choose to study for the benefit of the relationship.  It may also be the case that it has been agreed between the parties during the relationship that one party would work part-time to be more available to do other domestic work in the relationship. 

Often when the Court looks at adjusting shares of relationship property to account for economic disparity, they would look at the future potential earning capacity of the two parties.  That often needs specialist expert advice. 

The employment of actuaries or forensic accountants can result in reports outlining the level of potential disparity between the parties on this basis.  The benefits of engaging a professional to complete such a report for you is that it can maximise your negotiations when you are looking to divide relationship property with your ex-partner or spouse. 

It also allows you to understand the worth of your prospective claim in terms of dividing relationship property. Further, it ensures that your rights under the law are not forgotten during the negotiation.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.