Maintenance on the way out?
‘The Times’ recently reported that the number of ex-spouses being awarded maintenance upon divorce has decreased by 13% since 2011. There could be a number of reasons for this decrease. One reason might be that women want to be independent after a divorce and are capable of earning sufficient income without financial support from an ex-husband.
The court has wide powers when making financial orders, including orders for maintenance. Each case will be decided on its unique circumstances. In addition, orders for maintenance can be for life, termed or short-term. Orders can also be extendable which means that, towards the end of a term, they can be renewed by the court; or they can be non-extendable orders.
Maintenance Pending Suit
These are regular payments from one spouse to the other whilst court proceedings are ongoing, pending a final order. The court may order this in the short-term until the final outcome of the proceedings if one party is struggling to meet their needs and the other can afford to assist.
Periodical Payments (Spouse)
These are regular payments from one spouse to the other. These may be for life or for a set term, extendable or not.
These are regular payments paid for the benefit of the children. This money is usually paid to the parent with whom the children spend most time, and should be used for items such as children’s clothes, schools lunches or clubs. Children maintenance is governed by the Child Maintenance Agency save where the paying parent is a high earner.
The alternative to maintenance orders is a ‘clean break’. To find out more about the court’s powers when making a clean break order, please see next week’s blog.
Maintenance orders can be varied as time goes on if either parties’ circumstances have changed. To discuss your options upon divorce, or to vary a financial order, please contact Anna Taylor on 0121 693 2222.