Thursday, May 21, 2009

Divorce settlement and the ACA

This comment from Nadine Dorries does not surprise me in the least,
I wonder how many people are aware, that if you are an MP and divorce, the courts base your maintenance payments to your husband/wife/children on a combination of your ACA and your salary. This is because the ACA is classed as an allowance, not an expense account, and is considered by the court as the property of the MP.
I can understand why the court would consider the ACA like that. If it didn't, then potentially, maintenance payments could be signficantly less than they ought to be.
Hat Tip: Sam Coates


Anonymous said...

The comment from Nadine Dorries doesnt surprise me much either - but I am not so sure that it is really "the full truth".

I would hope that the courts would take into account all your income and also all your outgoings - so if you are only claiming for expenditure that was wholly,exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties then presumably the income and outgoings are equal so there should be no net impact on maintenance.

Oop Norf said...

I'm not sure that makes any sense; an MP's family can't reasonably expect to benefit from the MP's second home, so they don't lose any benefit if they don't get a share of the ACA money after a divorce.

Besides which, if we're going to criticise MPs for being inconsistent in claiming one home as primary for ACA purposes and another for capital gains tax, it's a bit rich to count ACA as an expenses account for one purpose and as basic salary for another.

dizzy said...

The problem is with maintenance that it is based on what you earn, and the court will always take the highest case scenario of ptoential money coming in rather than the lowest.

Alex said...

All divorcees get the same treatment. If you get a foreign psting from your company and they provide you with the cost of renting a house or flat at the foreign location (usually grossed up for tax), then that gets taken into account by the courts in assessing the amount of maintenance.

If circumstances change they can go back to the court to amend the arrangements.

Guy Herbert said...

Do they gross it up? Allowances are normally taxable, but ACA isn't.

Anonymous said...

Why should she be worried. There's a very grey area as to wether Nadine has ever been married according to UK law or divorced in UK law.