Maintenance payments for a spouse
It is common for families to rely on the income from one party while the other stays at home to look after the children.
Considering how the non-working party will continue to support themselves after divorce, you may need to consider maintenance payments.
How much should maintenance be?
With no set formula for spousal maintenance, you may need to agree a payment if one party is a higher earner. To sum up, this will depend on your individual circumstances. For example:
- Considering the children’s interests.
- Reasonable needs of each party.
- Standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage.
How long should you pay maintenance?
It is rare for the court to order maintenance payments for an indefinite period. It is always advisable to plan how long maintenance payments will continue. Your spouse is aiming to be independent. This may be through employment, investment or even state benefits.
Divorce Negotiator will assist couples to reach a fair agreement. We will discuss options you need to consider in achieving financial independence. We will assist you offering options to give financial independence either from the outset, or as soon as practicable.
Maintenance payments for a spouse does not achieve a complete clean break.
Child maintenance is a regular (weekly or monthly) payment by the non-resident parent (The parent who does not have full-time care of the child(ren)). The payments are for the benefit of the child(ren) and are separate from maintenance for a spouse. Spouse maintenance is needs based, however child maintenance is not – it is the law.
The family court rarely get involved in child maintenance issues. Parents can come to private agreements about the amount of maintenance or they can go the Child Maintenance Services. However, payments must be enough to ensure that the child(ren) are maintained and accommodated and their basic needs are taken care of (food, clothing, roof over their heads etc). Payments should continue until the child(ren) leave full-time education or reach the age of 18, whichever is later. Parents will often come to an agreement to support child(ren) while they are in university.
If you are unable to agree on a figure, there are formal routes that you can go down without going to court.
Divorce Negotiator will guide you through and what alternative routes you can explore.