What is Spousal Maintenance?

The issue of divorce, or the ending of a civil partnership, is one which is almost bound to throw up a wide range of difficult issues. The care of any children involved is one of the most sensitive topics, but even if there are no children, questions of maintenance often cause  a great deal of conflict and tension. The question ‘What is spousal maintenance?’ is one which our clients often ask us, and our expert lawyers are ready and waiting to deal with the conflicts which arise when a couple split up.

As experts in family law, we’re used to dealing with highly sensitive matters such as divorce settlements, children disputes and wills and probate, and ‘what is spousal maintenance’ is an issue which we’re well equipped to advise upon. Our team blends expertise in the law and the latest legislation with a sensitive and understanding approach, and a realisation that people dealing with the end of a relationship feel the emotional impact at the same time as having to deal with financial and practical matters.

Spousal maintenance involves one spouse paying an income to the other spouse, which is a concept which many people find difficult to understand. In simple terms, there is a duty for spouses to support each other whilst in a relationship, and in some cases this duty is seen as carrying on after the relationship has ended. Unlike child maintenance, it is not an automatic legal right, but can be imposed by the court if the circumstances demand it.

In some cases, one spouse may have given up a career or opted to stay at home rather than working, in order to raise the children in a relationship or provide the support mechanism for the other spouse to pursue a lucrative career. In circumstances such as this, the spouse who hasn’t earned a living can ask the court to consider the fact that they need supporting for a set length of time, at the very least until they are able to start supporting themselves.

The question ‘What is spousal maintenance?’ is fairly easy to answer, but the amount of maintenance, and the length of time for which it has to be paid is something which the court will decide. As legal representatives, we will be on hand to explain exactly how spousal maintenance is calculated, and the way in which the standard of living which was enjoyed during the marriage or civil partnership will be used by the court as a guide to how much spousal maintenance to award. Maintenance orders are often set to end as soon as the spouse receiving the payments can be expected to be able to provide for themselves, and will definitely stop as soon as a recipient remarries.

In all cases, the explanation of ‘What is spousal maintenance’ is something which is very much open to the interpretation of the court, and the expert advice of our team, whether claiming maintenance or being asked to pay it, will go a long way towards ensuring that the fairest possible decision is reached.  

If you’d like to ask our experts ‘What is spousal maintenance’ or learn more about the overall concept of maintenance, then please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. We’ll provide a 20 minute appraisal free of charge, and if you want to find out more we’ll offer a first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to find out more about our wider charging system then please take a look here.  


September 18, 2018

Divorce & Civil Partnership

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