Divorce: Child & Spousal Maintenance
Will I have to make maintenance payments?
In some scenarios a Maintenance Order may be required following a divorce. The court sometimes requires the spouse with the higher income to make regular maintenance payments to help with the other spouse’s living costs.
What is child maintenance?
When there are children involved the spouse with whom the children spend most of their time is entitled to seek child maintenance from the other spouse. This can be agreed mutually but if this is not possible then an application can be made to the Child Maintenance Service.
The Child Maintenance Service is a government funded body completely independent of the divorce courts which decides on what should be paid. Being an independent body means that the case is treated entirely separately from the division of all other assets.
What is spousal maintenance?
In addition to Child Maintenance there is also something known as Spousal Maintenance. As the name suggests, spousal maintenance is a regular weekly or monthly sum paid by one spouse to the other. Spousal maintenance is not appropriate in every case, there are certain circumstances in which it will be awarded but it is quite uncommon.
A maintenance payment can be set for a limited period of time. In cases involving children it may cease once the children reach a certain age, alternatively it may remain in place until one of you dies or remarries for instance.
If you have any concerns regarding maintenance payments, speaking to a solicitor can be useful.
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