New insurance policy covers lost maintenance for divorcees
A growing number of divorcees who are totally reliant on maintenance payments from former partners are dealing with the constant worry of payments stopping because of redundancy, illness - or the person simply deciding not to pay.
A study has found that some women have been so worried about how they would support themselves and their children without help that they have felt suicidal, while others have ended up in hospital from the stress and run up huge legal bills fighting for their maintenance payments.
Unfortunately, many divorcees believe that leaving the divorce courts with a court order for maintenance guarantees the payments. This is not the case and, as a result, people can suffer financial hardship, have their credit rating affected and even fall into poverty through no fault of their own.
There are many reasons why payments can't be made. Redundancy is a particular issue in today's economic climate, but the unexpected can also happen - illness and even death. A less predictable problem is that of wilful default - when a former partner no longer feels that honouring maintenance payments is a priority.
These problems are further compounded by cuts in legal aid and proposed changes to the way the Child Support Agency operates, leaving victims of default with little support and no money to finance legal action.
Recognising a gap in the market, Suffolk couple Henry and Pam Glasse have created ‘New Start’ - a unique new insurance which covers lost or reduced maintenance and restores financial peace of mind to those who rely on this income. ‘New Start’ is provided through their company, Maintenance Assist, which has recently been authorised by the Financial Services Authority. Maintenance Assist is currently the only provider of this type of cover.
Henry, who was an insurance underwriter for 26 years, explained: “We have recently conducted a small survey which indicated that 50 per cent of recipients of maintenance had experienced problems getting the money, with almost all suffering stress and an alarming 20 per cent had felt suicidal.”
Case studies support these grim statistics. One lady ran up a credit card bill of £9,000 in legal fees trying to get her ex-husband to pay the maintenance for herself and her two children, as was agreed in the court order. The stress it caused and not knowing how she would make ends meet, landed her in hospital.
Henry added: “Our aim is to restore financial security to recipients of maintenance and we also provide a free legal helpline for support. With the Government actively encouraging individuals to make private arrangements for child maintenance, rather than going through the Child Support Agency, we feel our service is just what people will be looking for.”
‘New Start’ is available to those with a legally binding consent order in place and premiums are paid monthly with a choice of two competitively priced packages.
“Pam and I feel privileged to be in a position where, through our business, we can genuinely help people regain financial peace of mind and give support through a traumatic and life changing situation,” Henry said.
For more information, visit: maintenanceassist.co.uk