Divorce with a chil...
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Divorce with a child about to turn 18 years old

New Member


I'm new here but so pleased to have found this forum.

My husband of 20 years has just left myself and my 17yr old daughter - for a younger woman.

I gave up my career when I become pregnant and supported him in his career for the last 20yrs whilst he worked abroad for many months of the year. In this time, whilst being (ultimately) a single parent I raised our daughter and started my own small business.  This was closed last year after 15yrs as I had decided I wanted to focus on our home and our teenage daughter - she will be going to University next year but I don't imagine she won't still need my support financially until she is established herself.  So now I am nearly 50 and I have no job or no relevant experience as I have closed my business.

My husband earns very well and has a successful and lucrative career.  We have lived a comfortable life and both worked very hard for our home (albeit with a horribly large mortgage) and the quality of life we have enjoyed.

However - now that he has left us for someone else - I am feeling so confused about what I may be able to receive as far as ongoing support being that our daughter turns 18 in about 6 months.  Am I right, that we could split our home 50/50 and then he owes me nothing?  But has the ability to continue on with his career and earn well being that he has worked his way to a good position now with my support - and yet I will struggle to find the sort of work that would even cover the costs of getting our dogs cared for each day?!

Any advice on spousal maintenance or what I should be looking for with a child of 17 would be great.  I've consulted a solicitor but she was pretty much advising me that I am stuffed once our daughter turns 18?

I hope perhaps someone has some experience of an impending divorce with an older child?


Thank you all very much Smile



Topic starter Posted : 23/09/2021 12:57 pm
Apprentice Hugger

I am not a lawyer but I just wanted to say that I am sorry for what you are going through. I have heard that when a child is 18 the financial situation changes but I don't believe that this is 100% especially if the child is going to University. I understand that if mediation doesn't work, then a judge will decide if some kind of child maintenance continues until the childs education comes to an end, but like I say, I am not a legal expert. As far as assets are concerned, you husband earns and you have presumably been married for a good length of time, so your needs would be taken into account and things like your earning capacity etc... I would also speak to a financial planner to see what you might "need" into retirement etc too as this is really important, to make sure you have enough for the rest of your life.  Good luck with it all. I am sure a legal person will reply at some point as I have seen them reply to people before. 

Posted : 23/09/2021 4:00 pm
Founder Alison
Apprentice Hugger

Hi there, Alison Founder of The Group Hug here. I am really sorry that you are dealing with all this heartache right now and I am so glad that you felt you could reach out to us here at The Group Hug. May I ask where you heard about us? 


As far as your question is concerned, I am not legally trained etc.. so I leave that to the experts in The Hug Directory.. and they will know what normally happens in this kind of situation, especially as you say, your daughter is off to Uni. Lots of things will be taken into consideration such as your future earning capacity, what your husband earns etc.. you have a need to get your life back on track and whether that can be done through mediation or has to go through the courts, in time, that will be seen. 


The comment above is great advice.. to see a financial planner about what you need in the future and in fact, I recorded a video about this topic last week, so take a look as you don't want to just stick your finger in the air and come up with a number, you need to really think about how to start again. https://youtu.be/KwolEtTIS98 and https://youtu.be/qRy8pK4pkH8 should give you some advice on this... but take a look at our YouTube channel as there is lots of tips and advice from experts


Posted : 23/09/2021 4:54 pm
Apprentice Hugger

Dear Bumble

I think you need to be careful before you agree to any settlement without ensuring that you can meet your financial needs!
You may not be able to claim child maintenance once your child is 18 years old, but depends on your husband’s income, perhaps a top up order could be considered or spousal maintenance for a period of time to allow you some time to adjust and maximise your income. 
If you would like to get a second opinion, more than happy to provide you with a free appointment. 

Bernadett Noble 

KJ Smith Solicitors 

Posted : 06/10/2021 6:05 pm