Spousal maintenance may be payable on divorce from one spouse to another following during and/or on grant of Decree, particularly if there is a disparity between the parties’ incomes and the spouse with the lesser income can demonstrate a need.

Spousal maintenance is separate to child maintenance [link] which is payable in relation to the children, although your spouse may make the payments together.

The maintenance is usually paid monthly, either on a fixed term basis or for the remainder of the parties’ lives. Maintenance may be paid for a number of years, such as until a child starts secondary school or reaches the age of 18 or for a certain period to enable one spouse to retrain. Each case is considered on its individual circumstances.

Many couples would rather separate financial ties on divorce and in such circumstances, where one spouse has a valid claim for spousal maintenance, this can be capitalised meaning that they will receive a greater share of capital assets in return for surrendering a claim for maintenance.