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The Duxbury Tables

A Duxbury calculation refers to the method used to work out a lump sum that can be drawn by a partner as maintenance for the rest of their life. The idea behind a lump sum is that this can enable a divorcing couple to have a clean break. The Duxbury Tables are based on various assumptions, including life expectancy and inflation, to calculate appropriate maintenance sums.

The case below looks at the Duxbury tables in action. This extract can also be found in my new book, ‘Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer’.


Mrs S was 52 and had two grown up children. Mr S was 53 and earned £300,000 net per annum. Their house was worth £5 million with no mortgage. Mr S had a pension fund of £1.5 million.

Mrs S required £1.5 million for her housing and had a budget of £100,000 per annum for her income requirements. She received an equal division of the equity in house (£2.5 million) and a clean break that took her surplus £1 million of capital into account. She would receive sufficient income, supplemented by a payment from her husband’s share of the house and his pension fund, to give her £100,000 a year for life.

This calculation was made by reference to the Duxbury Tables.  The computation first arose in the case of Duxbury v Duxbury. The tables give a capital figure, assuming a net of tax income need for either a man or woman for life. The calculation assumes a relatively low rate of investment return, and that some capital will be spent so that on a part investment return, part capital spent basis, the sum provided will be spent at the end of the person’s life, which is actuarially calculated.

This is not the same as an annuity, which is much more expensive to provide. The Duxbury Tables do take into account an uplift for inflation. More specialist Duxbury programmes, such as the amount of capital required to provide a specific income up to or from a certain age, can factor in other capital income and pensions.

If you are about to receive a clean break in exchange for relinquishing your maintenance, you should ask your solicitor to check what you are receiving against the Duxbury Tables, to ensure that you will be properly provided for – and for many people, that means for life.

If you are representing yourself, you can access the Duxbury Tables by subscribing to At a Glance, a family lawyer’s “bible” published by the Family Law Bar Association. At the time of writing, At a Glance costs £50 and can be purchased from Please note, however, that the contents of this book include lots of figures and tables, which may be daunting for the uninitiated. If in doubt, ask a lawyer for help.

Not every spouse will be in such a fortunate position. However if your spouse is earning a substantial income, if there is plenty of capital and if you are entitled to lifetime maintenance, I would be hesitant to advise a clean break unless it can be paid out in full.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but what seems a vast amount at the time may not seem so sizeable ten years later!

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. silver rose says:

    Ex husband earns around £200,000 he used to get £625 in liu of pension and he claims not to have a pension. Wow how irresponsible. I had a car accident when pregnant 8 years ago and he took over everything (controlling, abuse) he went for custody and tied me up making fake claims to benefits office etc so i have no income at all whatsoever and cannot get legal aid. He is very charming and everyone seems groomed by him into not checking his constant lies. We have a £200,000 maybe three equity in our former marital home. I paid in the deposit and he remortgaged. He is clearly irresponsible and unable to provide. I need 18 months of physio to be work ready again even though Im not young and not fully fit, his bullying never allowed me to get better. If I have any capital I can find a way to build up my nest egg again how do I persuade the Judge to really look at the type of man he is not what he appears. They seem not to see that this man prevented me from having any financial say in our futures and abused me for years but I can get back on my feet – given a reasonable chance. I need to be able to stay in FMH home for a a reasonable amount of time to deal with all this.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Silver Rose
      Your comment is very confused but if you have to file your Form E by Thursday and you don’t have a solicitor, go and get yourself one quickly. If you do have a solicitor, then arrange an appointment pronto!
      As you say your husband is earning a lot of money and there is a lot of equity in the house, I don’t think you will have problems arranging payment with your solicitors.
      You need to think and discuss with your solicitors, a lot of things and if you go on the side bar and download my book it will tell you what you need to consider much more than I can in this reply. Then on this blog you will find sample Form E and how it should be completed to give you a guide as to how to do it. In your Form E you need to be clear about what you have, how much you need out of both of your and your husband’s income and capital and how you see your future including the cost of getting you back to work such as physio etc. etc.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Silver Rose
      I have replied to this same question in my detail elsewhere on my blog.
      However, do go and see a solicitor pronto!!!!

  2. Andrew says:

    Marilyn: as a matter of interest, have the Duxbury tables been updated to reflect the preposterous ruling of the ECJ that you cannot charge women less fo life insurance (and motor insurance in the case of young women) and more for annuities?

  3. London Ex Wife says:

    Dear Marilyn I was married for 7.5 years and have 2 children, I stopped work 12 years ago as husband has high earning job. (Finance own business) Children live with me full time. He remarried 8 months ago to his employee and on return from his honeymoon stopped paying maintenance for both me and children claiming change in financial circumstances. He did not apply to court for variation simply stopped and requested form E’s. My solicitors advised that I would have to apply to court for enforcement which I did. He hired head of family division of top London Divorce Law Firm for high net worth individuals and they started to pay us the CSA rate for the children. It worked out at a reduction of 76% in our maintenance (since court order in 2010)and we applied to the court for enforcement. Having applied in July our initial hearing was only in November. On the 2 occasions until November he did not submit any detailed form e disclosure via his lawyers (I did) and then his lawyers complained in a letter of my overspending since he unilaterally reduced the maintenance. ( I was left with paying for children’s schools fees, all living costs etc) now we have a date in May for FDR. We have to submit our questionnaires in January. (I am supporting us and paying school fees which he is court ordered to do with my savings but will run out in May) I read your comments on FDR and it seems that this is what is happening to me. Last year he bought an enormously expensive house with his fiancee and drive s very expensive cars. I do not work. I wondered if duxbury tables are considered if the marriage was only 7.5 years? I believe his income has taken a down turn but I also know it will increase significantly again within the next year or so. Any advice you can gibe please gratefully received.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear London Ex Wife
      Perhaps I’m doing him a gross injustice but this all looks very pre planned doesn’t it? Gets himself a maintenance order remarries and stops paying the maintenance without applying to vary downwards yet his own standard of living doesn’t seem to suffer. And you are left to pay everything? From what you write you appear to have solicitors advising you. I have no idea about the finances of either of you so I cant comment on an appropriate settlement. But you ask me about Duxbury. Have you or he applied for capitalisation of your maintenance? Its not so much based on the original length of the marriage, (and cohabitation prior to marriage may be relevant) its more about your reasonable needs for the future and you are a non working mum with two children. If capitalisation is being considered then of course they will criticise your over spending because its your current budget they will be looking at. They will also argue you can work and if I were you Id think about what you can do to improve your income. However you may need to retrain or need some more qualifications to get you back into the work place. Have a look at my book, from the side bar of this blog, for a cost of 99p, all proceeds to charity. There is more there which will assist you.

  4. Emma h says:

    Can a woman who was in the uk illegally and only married for eleven days ( her partner knew he was ill befor they met and had made her aware of that fact when they met ) before he passed away use the duxbury rule in contesting a will ? This woman had lied to her partner about her status and as he was vulnerable and lonely he did not end the relationships .surely by default of living here illegally makes her claim an insult to our laws .we know from a public statement her partner had said to members of his family that the reasons he was marrying her was to help her in any way it could to remain in the uk and as a Thankyou for staying .not really a genuine subsisting relationship as she contributed nothing to her partners home or living costs ,was denied NTL as insufficient evidence of her right to remain way back in 2008 her partner passed away in March 2013 .also as the duxbury calculation is based on a divorce settlement surly with the family provisions act they can not base her living expenses on this and as she has fled back to the states then surely it’s irreverent by default ?

  5. Andrew says:

    Have the Duxbury tables been revised to allow for the preposterous ruling of the ECJ that you cannot charge a man for life insurance and less for an annuity?

  6. Colin says:

    We have infuriated my Lawyer wife’s legal team by asking for up-to-date financial information and it seems the timing of financial appraisal of assets is very much a hot potato. My lawyer adamant it should take place now, 2 years post-separation (it has dragged on) and just prior to the financial resolution that would pre-empt the decree absolute – her team say it should be at point of separation and equally adamant that in their resolve. I am left to steer the path of reason. Astonishingly there are no hard and fast rules to this – you would think such a rule would be right up there in the top three of divorce proceedings – alas not. It has clearly been left as a money-spinner for lawyers. As you can imagine there’s a huge amount of cash at stake.
    My reasoning says that she did take over her department at the point of our separation and in the two ensuing years has , entirely through her own efforts brought in huge sums of money notwithstanding the ongoing support my non-employment as a house-husband has facilitated. On the other hand she needed to be on the lower rung to be able to step-up to the higher one and that position was fully supported by me.
    One of the financial options makes use of the Duxbury Tables – As far as I can see they work on a decumulation basis where the capital sum is drawn down. So an income of 30k / year costs £250k for instance. What’s a bit confusing is that they claim to offer far better returns than an annuity …so why doesn’t everyone use them in preference to an annuity?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Colin
      I doubt they do but they are used as a guide by the court.
      As for relevant dates, the court will certainly need to know the up to date financial position. If it’s argued that an earlier date is also relevant it’s up to that party to make the argument and for the court to determine the extent to which post separation accrual is relevant and should be ring fenced from division.

      • Andrew says:

        Last time I used Duxbury there were discrete male and female tables – has that survived the [preposterous] decision of the ECJ about gender “discrimination” in insurance under which annuities are now unisex?

  7. Angelika says:

    Is the Duxbury table calculated after tax or before tax? Net or gross calculations. Because a solicitor is not an Accoutant nor an expert in giving tax advice, current or up to date. Therefore, e.g do solicitors base the wife’s settlement / pay out upon the gross or net figures in a Duxbury table calculation? I think this is a very valid point.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Angelika
      The figures are net of tax and with an uplift for inflation. They change annually and are published in “At a Glance” you can obtain via Class Publishing.

  8. C .Honan says:

    I have not got a kindle but interested in ur book where can I buy it

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      We still have a few printed copies of the first edition available. Contact our main office – the details are here:

  9. C Honan says:

    I am at decree nisa stage with a week to go for decree absolute ! I bought my house outright yrs before I married n we have a daughter of 18 ! My savings of £150,000 my wife wants but now threatening she is entitled to half of house though never contributed to any household bills though she worked I paid for everything ! Where do I stand ? Any advice would be appreciated .

  10. Philip says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I have been paying my ex wife spousal maintenance for 23 years under a consent order. I am 62 and she is 67 with no prospect of marriage and the current amount (indexed) is £450 per month. She pays life insurance on my life to cover this after my death. I am self employed but will be semi retiring shortly. I would like to “get her off my back” and wonder if you can tell me what sort of capitalisation figure I should offer her, based on the Duxbury tables. Thank you

  11. alison green says:

    My husband sprung a divorce on me I will not contest but he will not show me his finance s. I have no idea about mortgage wage ect. The house is on his name only. We have been married 7 yrs and have a daughter. He owned the house before we met. He is on 64,000 a yrs and I am on long term disability. What is my position financial. I have no money he has me over a barrel. He offered £30,000 and I leave. I have been told I only can have split assets on the house from the day of marraige like his pension. Cause he owned the house previous. Surely the children need a stable home. I won’t be able to provide on just disability payments. Any help please?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alison
      Ignore what you have been told. You must go and see a solicitor. On divorce the court will order disclosure of both parties finances and will meet a wife’s reasonable needs and those of the children. It doesn’t matter who owns what because needs matter more. As for legal fees I’m pretty sure your solicitors will reach an agreement with you.
      Don’t delay and don’t make any agreement without legal advice. You are not over a barrel.

      • alison green says:

        I seen a solicitor and she says the house it only a matrimonial asset for the 7 yrs we were married. Not before as he owned the property before the marriage. Same as his pension.Is this true. I’m so worried I won’t have enough finances to look after the children.
        P.s thanks for your swift reply

      • alison green says:

        It’s my solicitor that told me I was only entitled to assets after our marriage and not previous to it.

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Alison
          There must have been a misunderstanding somewhere. All assets are available to share on divorce irrespective of when they were acquired. If you want to contact my firm then by all means do so, on 01423 532600 and speak to Morna Bunce who will direct you to the appropriate solicitor in our firm who can help you.

          • alison green says:

            I could really do with help with this matter soon as possible. I have already. Paid a solicitor which seems to have given me bad advice. How much are you fees for the financial settlement please? I’ve already paid my existing solicitor for divorce settlement and financial package. Can I just instruct her to to do the divorce? I’m very confused at moment.

  12. alison green says:

    I will contact you Monday.

  13. JamesB says:

    AS and MS, you do here illustrate why we have low birth rate and society issues in this country and highlight why I hate divorce so much.
    If no one else is going to comment I will. It seems to me that neither is going to come out of this thing well, apart from the lawyers perhaps. Mayilyns legal comments are of course correct, except to say you didn’t say if he wants to bring up your daughter himself.
    Tough lawyer advice would be. Change the locks, then call the police when he comes round being aggressive. Then go to a lawyer and get maintenance pending suite and then take him to the cleaners including non mol and occupation order and house etc. Whatever you do restrict his contact as much as possible to claim status quo as money goes to the parent with most care on divorce. Also make sure the child benefit goes to account in your name only as they assess on that also.
    My advice would be… Go to marriage guidance and do a deal between you.
    Third option would be go to a solicitors and attempt an amicable divorce. Problem is the law would give him a massive hit, he knows this which is why he was an arse and came out with his statement which is perhaps realistic if he brings up your daughter and you don’t pay child maintenance. But, like I said you haven’t and I don’t expect will advise on what is likely or he requested there. Ok, I think he is saying he wants to.
    Try and keep lawyers costs down, if nothing else for the sake of the child.
    What I would do if I were you. Well, 1. Do not move out. 2. Try and work it out with him. 3. Go to a lawyer once a month (no more to keep fees down) 4. Go to counselling with or without him.
    My brain dump. Just reminded me of so many similar things in the past. My ex went for the tough lawyer advice and down the line, it just makes it impossible for me to be around her which makes things a lot harder for the children then it should be and is why I have issues with the process and divorce lawyers. Did she ‘win’? No, no one wins on divorce, which is why I say try and patch it up. I do find most people who advise divorce aren’t divorced themselves. It is not something I advise without a prenup if at all.

  14. JamesB says:

    p.s. I wish you all the best and perhaps keep posting as I think we would all be interested in how this goes these days, especially as there is a certain John Bolch on here who goes on about courts being fair, I think your stbx (perhaps soon to be ex) may end up losing his house and I do not see how John can call that fair. If you bring up child I would think he should get a mesher of 50% and pay child maintenance and perhaps some spousal maintenance and house be sold when child is 18.
    In reality courts especially with your disability will give you pretty much everything, including SM and CM and perhaps a third mesher order charge to the house when child leaves education to him. Perhaps no SM if you no claim on his pension.
    By try and work it out with him, I mean, perhaps try and stay together, if you can’t, then try to agree things amicably. As UK and EU are finding that is difficult though.
    If you are disabled and can’t bring daughter up, he has an obligation to help and you have obligation to pay child support, £30k sounds low though, I would think more like £50k, that’s without child support, if with you paying child support, then more still, perhaps you get a charge on the house or £100k or more.
    I hate it when I see non resident parents receiving spousal support and did break up with a woman when she told me this, but realistically now can see why this may be best and how this goes.

  15. JamesB says:

    Last point, although many do, by their word, which still counts for some people, you can’t contract out of child support. Down the line he may come after you for it.
    There is an interesting question, which is, can there be a clause in the AR order that if child maintenance is ever paid then the parent will pay the same amount back? One for Marilyn, as I am interested please. As I can see how a clean break might be best as it would have been before the CSA here.

  16. JamesB says:

    Whatever happens it will be a massive hit for each of the three of you and illustrates why many do not get married.

  17. JamesB says:

    re the figures I posted. Made up, perhaps not realistic or worth reading and I accept no liability for them and think a Judge would probably give you more based on your earning capability and child care requirements etc. I do see it as an interesting illustrative mess though your situation as posted.

  18. JamesB says:

    It also highlights why many avoid marriage as it is such a difficult situation.

  19. Alan says:

    I am 49 yrs old and my ex wife is 34. We separated after 6 and a half years then divorced a about a year later. I look after our daughter after a bitter battle in court. She has applied to court for a financial settlement. House is in my name as I purchased 8 years prior to meeting. I have 2 other children that I also take care of (19 in uni and 16 in colledge). I di have a share in a company but in her spite she made up story’s to the other 2 partners which resulted in them voteding me off as a director ( I will spare u the details). As a result I had no income and in the bitter battle spent what savings I had in court. I had to sell my shares to make ends meet and now have a part time job while looking after my children. I have to defend myself in court while as not enough funds. How do I stop her taking what little I have left? (I.e.equity in the house)

  20. S C says:

    We have been married since 2007 without child. Sadly now I am considering divorce (cultural clash in our marriage, and our personalities have grown apart). But I have not made firm decision to file petition yet as I don’t know if this divorce will actually cost me to loose my personal assets/savings (although it’s small, about 100 K) instead of gaining settlements….
    My husband is from a quite wealthy family (his father’s asset is over 20 m but he plans to leave all his money in family trust for family’s education purpose), and he is his company’s MD. However the company is registered under his father’s name (although since day 1 the business has been run directly by my husband only).
    Moreover the flat we live now (worthy 600K +) is also owned by his father’s property management company, and we have been paying 1 k per month as 0% interested mortgage since 2007 – verbal agreement between my husband and his father, so on paper we are like a tenant to the father’s property company. I tried to against this arrangement by mouth only, but nothing I could do at the time … (when my husband’s brother divorced few years ago, their house was under the same arrangement, and the ex-wife could only win child maintenance, but not even a penny from their family home.)
    I am self-employed with my own incomes, but my works is 90% relied to my husband’s company (as a service provider). Therefore once divorce, I could suddenly loose place to live and works at the same time. I had help the business in the first and 2nd year directly before the staff number grown, and I also went on to study a related MA course for him as he would not have time to do further study.
    My husband doesn’t have any saving but only personal loans and overdraft debts (but I have savings). His income is 65 K a year.
    I just want to know for the case like this, nothing on paper seems under my husband’s or our names, is it worthy to consider fighting for settlements in court or to save money and troubles, I should try to speak nicely to him and come out common agreement on clean cut divorce?
    Many thanks for your help, even just a small suggestive answer.
    Kind regards

  21. jane says:

    Divorced 13 yrs ago. Was paid spousal maintenance and child maintenance till april 17 when ex husband lost job. He applied in october for order to dismiss spousal maintenance. I am subject to a charge on my house to pay him off, due last august. I have paid him £40k of a potential £60k. I have challenged the amount as my divorce solicitor never informed me it would rise from £40 to 60k.
    He got slap on wrist for stopping my spousal maintenance. Have been to court , self represented as have no money, im terminally ill. Ct ordered full financial disclosure. He is reemployed now. what shall I do? child still at college but is over 18. He is seeking the balance plus interest and to discharge the spousal maintenance. Should I send an order to court to disagree with his? is it too late? Thanks for any advice

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Good morning
      Thanks for your message. Could we ask (roughly) where you live? We’ll ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line.

      • jane says:

        I’m happy to tell you where I live but don’t want that on the comments so how do i let you know please?

        • Cameron Paterson says:

          You can still leave it as a comment. It won’t be visible to others unless we ‘approve’ it, and obviously we won’t do so. Alternatively, you can email us

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