Spousal maintenance is just one of the orders a court has the power to make in financial proceedings. Spousal maintenance is a form of financial support paid from one spouse to the other. It is different to child maintenance and does not apply to unmarried couples.

The court’s will take into account many factors when considering whether a spousal maintenance order is necessary. These include, the age of the parties, their income and who is the primary carer of any children of the marriage.

If one party can demonstrate a financial need for spousal maintenance, and the other spouse has the ability to pay taking into account their own financial needs then it may be a case where spousal maintenance is appropriate.

The length of time one party will have to pay spousal maintenance for will depend on the circumstances of the parties. Spousal maintenance orders can be limited to a specific number of years, to allow for one party to restart their career or for the children to reach an age where the receiving party can work more hours. In some cases there may be circumstances which give rise to a lifetime spousal maintenance order. All spousal maintenance orders come to an end if the receiving party remarry.

In some cases, whilst the receiving spouse may not show a need for spousal maintenance straight away, a nominal maintenance order may be appropriate should the financial circumstances of that party be precarious or subject to change.

To contact our Family Solicitor, Hannah Rogers, and make an appointment to see her at our offices based in central Chichester, please call 01243 790532 or emailhannahrogers@owenkenny.co.uk.