In the below article we answer your most frequently asked questions regarding spousal maintenance.
Will there be an order for spousal maintenance and how long will it need to be paid for?
Where possible the court prefers a clean break so neither party is financially dependent on the other. This is not however always possible if for example the paying party has insufficient funds or assets to pay this as a lump sum. This could result in one party paying ongoing maintenance to the other, if fair in all the circumstances.
The requirement for spousal maintenance generally ends when one of the following happen:
- the receiving party remarries
- the receiving party dies
- the court makes a new order.
The court also has the power to make an order for spousal maintenance for a limited time only. This could be for example to allow the receiving party to seek qualifications and/or employment so that they have time to become financially independent and support themselves.
In deciding how much maintenance should be paid, the court will look at:
- how much the paying party can pay according to their budget and earning capacity
- how much the receiving party needs according to their budget and earning capacity.
- the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage.
What if you need financial contributions from your spouse before the court makes a final order?
Maintenance pending suit also known as interim maintenance is financial support paid by one spouse to another after divorce proceedings start until the divorce and division of finances are finalised. You may be able to apply for maintenance pending suit if you have no or little income which stops you from living an appropriate lifestyle. Speak to one of our solicitors for more advice regarding this.
How is child maintenance calculated?
Child maintenance is a separate issue. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) usually assesses and enforces child maintenance, click the following link for more details Making a child maintenance arrangement: Using the Child Maintenance Service – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). It is also possible for the parties to agree child maintenance between themselves informally or have the agreement set out in a financial consent order.
For more information on how we can support you through this process, please contact Madia Aslam.