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Spousal Maintenance

Whether you need spousal maintenance, or you are being asked to financially support your ex-wife or husband, spousal maintenance can be an emotive topic and a hard area to resolve.

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Spousal Maintenance Payments

Whether you need help paying the household bills in the immediate aftermath of your separation, you need spousal maintenance on a longer-term basis or you are concerned by the amount of maintenance that you are being asked to pay, our family law solicitors can help younegotiate and agree on the financial support needed.

We can assist you through:

  • Solicitor negotiations
  • Roundtable meetings
  • Family mediation and arbitration
  • Converting your mediated agreement, separation agreement, or negotiated deal into a binding financial court order   
  • Temporary short-term maintenance court applications where you need support straight away
  • Child maintenance advice
  • Financial applications for property, pension, and related claims, including spousal maintenance
  • Variation of spousal maintenance claims to increase or reduce or stop court-ordered spousal maintenance payments
  • Negotiating spousal maintenance variation formulae, such as linking spousal maintenance payments to the retail price index or another formula  
  • Applications to capitalise spousal maintenance payments – this involves payment of a cash lump sum instead of ongoing regular spousal maintenance. If spousal maintenance can be capitalised a financial “clean break” (where you will be financially independent of each other in the future) can be negotiated.
  • Enforcement of spousal maintenance if for any reason payments are not being paid or paid in full.  

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

The court does not use a set formula when deciding on whether spousal maintenance should be paid, and if so, for how long. The court will look at a range of factors relating to a husband and wife, such as:

  • Current income
  • Earnings capacity
  • Factors affecting earnings capacities such as age, disability, or childcare commitments 
  • Reasonable needs and outgoings
  • Future needs and outgoings

Spousal maintenance can be complicated to work out as part of the overall divorce financial settlement. For example, if a husband or wife is getting a greater share of the equity in the family home so they can rehouse themselves with a modest mortgage, the other higher-earning spouse may not be able to afford to pay spousal maintenance if they need to take out a larger mortgage to rehouse themselves.

Initial Discussion 

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134 or email us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

Stopping or changing Spousal Maintenance

Just as important as deciding on the amount of spousal maintenance, the court also needs to decide on how long spousal maintenance should be paid.

The court can order that spousal maintenance is paid for as long as both parties remain alive or on a time-limited basis. If it is practicable the court will try to limit the period that maintenance is paid. The court would prefer for the parties to achieve financial independence where possible. This may be the case where the spouse who will receive the payments will have the capacity to earn in the future.   

Depending on the precise wording of the court order, a spousal maintenance term can sometimes be extended on an application made by the spouse receiving the payments.

Spousal maintenance payments automatically stop if the husband or wife receiving the payments gets remarried. However, an application can be made to the court to increase, reduce or stop the spousal maintenance payments if either the paying former spouse or the ex-spouse receiving the spousal maintenance, experiences a significant change in circumstances. Examples include:

  • The person paying spousal maintenance loses their job or retires
  • The person receiving spousal maintenance starts to live with a partner
  • The person receiving spousal maintenance has obtained additional qualifications or received a job promotion or can increase their hours of work because their children are older
  • Either party suffers from ill health which in turn affects their day-to-day needs or income.

How Can Fullers Help?

Our family solicitors can advise you on whether spousal maintenance is likely to be payable and help you work through all the spousal maintenance options.

We will look at your priorities; whether that is to achieve the security and finality of a clean break financial court order, or to receive spousal maintenance payments until you can draw down on a pension through the making of a pension sharing order as part of your divorce financial settlement.

We understand that finding a solicitor that you feel understands your own specific situation can be a daunting task. So, you can book a free callback with us here.

We have also created a series of fixed-price consultation meetings with a full ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee promise.

For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134 or email us at and a member of our team will get back to you.

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