Spousal maintenance is an amount awarded by the Family Courts to be paid by a former husband or wife to their ex-partner after divorce or dissolution. Spousal maintenance is also called a 'maintenance order'.

If you need legal advice or assistance with spousal maintenance, please make a free enquiry by calling us on 0203 417 3700 or filling out our online enquiry form.

  1. What is spousal maintenance?
  2. Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?
  3. UK spousal maintenance calculator
  4. When does spousal maintenance stop?
  5. Spousal maintenance solicitors
  6. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is maintenance that is paid by a former husband, wife or civil partner to an ex-partner following a divorce and is in addition to child maintenance.

Spousal maintenance is usually paid on a monthly basis and continues either for a defined period (term of years) or for the remainder of the parties’ life (known as a “joint lives order”).

Spousal maintenance ends if the recipient remarries or if either party dies. It may be varied or dismissed by the courts on a change in circumstances.

Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

To establish whether you are likely to be entitled to spousal maintenance you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your financial needs and income potential and can these needs be met without the support of your former spouse?
  • Have you been married for a long time and given up work to support your spouse or family by becoming a homemaker?
  • Are you of an age where establishing a career, to deliver the kind of lifestyle you have been used to, would be difficult?
  • Would you be financially better off having a financial clean break and lump sum from your former spouse, rather than maintenance?
  • Are you prepared to take your case to court, if your former spouse will not agree to spousal maintenance?
  • Are you planning to re-marry? (if you do you will lose your right to spousal maintenance)

The conditions under which spousal maintenance might be paid vary, as every marriage varies. If a couple has been together for a long time and one party has given up work to run the home whilst the other has developed a career and been the family breadwinner there are arguments to say that the homemaker is entitled to financial support, in the form of spousal maintenance, if the marriage breaks down and on the basis that the spouse in need cannot support themselves financially from the income they have coming in from other sources.

As is often the case with family law, every case is different. It is therefore important to take advice from a divorce and family lawyer. They will be able to consider your circumstances and advise on the likely success of your case.

UK spousal maintenance calculator

There are no hard & fast rules or set a formula to calculate spousal maintenance. The court will consider several factors to decide whether spousal maintenance is appropriate or not, including:

  • the length of the marriage
  • whether there are minor children
  • whether there is an income disparity between the couple
  • how their housing needs are met
  • whether a spouse has a continuing financial need
  • whether a spouse has a diminished earning capacity

When does spousal maintenance stop?

Spousal maintenance usually stops if:

  • The payment term ends;
  • You or your ex-partner die, or
  • The person receiving spousal maintenance remarries or enters another civil partnership

It does not necessarily stop if they live with a new partner without marrying or entering a civil partnership, although the person paying it could use this as a reason to apply to the courts to get the spousal maintenance amount reduced.

Spousal maintenance solicitors

Our expert team of spousal maintenance solicitors are specialists in spousal maintenance matters. As one of the best spousal maintenance solicitors, our lawyers have wealth of knowledge and experience to provide legal advice and representations concerning spousal maintenance matters.

Need legal help and assistance with your spousal maintenance? Contact our expert team of spousal maintenance solicitors.

Call on 020 3417 3700 to speak to our family law solicitors in Wembley, London or fill in the enquiry form for immediate advice & assistance with your spousal maintenance or any other family law matter.

If you need legal advice or assistance in relation to spousal maintenance, please make a free enquiry by calling us on 0203 417 3700 or filling out our online enquiry form.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If the marriage or civil partnership is short (typically, less than five years), it might not be paid at all or only for a short period through what's called a 'term order'. Where a couple has been together for a long time, or where an ex-partner is unable to work, it can be paid for life.

You can avoid spousal maintenance with a clean break. A clean break means that you wish to end all financial ties or claims between you and your ex-partner (husband, wife, or civil partner) after your divorce or dissolution.

Need legal advice & assistance?

Our London based team of the best divorce and family law solicitors offers legal services in all areas of family law such as divorce, financial settlements etc.

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

Contact our solicitor today to get legal advice and assistance with your legal matters.

You can call us on 02034173700 or leave your details here for a callback request regarding your legal matter.