Calculating spousal maintenance: How much should I be paying, and for how long?


The term ‘spousal maintenance’ refers to payments made from one person to their ex partner or former spouse following a divorce in order to supplement their income. A typical example of why a person may receive spousal maintenance is if they gave up their career to look after the family.

Is my ex-partner entitled to spousal maintenance? How is this type of spousal maintenance calculated?

No one is automatically entitled to maintenance from their ex-spouse. However, there is an expectation during a marriage that the partners will look after and support each other financially, which may carry on after separation. Whether maintenance is appropriate depends on the circumstances of the case and if it is appropriate, how much maintenance an ex-spouse may receive depends on each person’s financial situation.

How do I accurately calculate maintenance payments to my ex-wife/husband? Is there a UK calculator or a formula I can use?

For a fair decision to be reached, both parties must compile a list of their anticipated future expenditure and provide evidence for their income. Unlike child maintenance, there is no set formula to use, and as it depends on the parties’ income needs and ability to pay, it can be quite complex to work out how much you may have to pay/be able to expect. Due to this, it is recommended to seek the advice of an experienced solicitor at Breakthrough Family Law.

Spousal maintenance payments

How long do I have to pay spousal maintenance?

The lengths of spousal maintenance agreements may vary from one case to another. It is common for support to end once the recipient achieves financial independence or the youngest child reaches the age of eighteen; some may only end when one of the parties involved dies (called ‘Joint Lives’ Maintenance Orders). Despite any special clauses in the agreement, spousal maintenance orders end once the recipient of the financial assistance remarries.

Is spousal maintenance different to child maintenance?

Yes, there are differences between the two. For example, child maintenance must always be paid, whereas spousal maintenance is usually discretionary. However, in the instance where a couple has a financial remedy/consent order as part of their divorce proceedings and spousal maintenance is included as a part of that order, payments are mandatory.

Child maintenance covers how your child’s living costs will be paid and is arranged by the Child Maintenance Service, although a UK Government calculator is available. It considers many factors, including the number of children involved and the time spent overnight with each parent.

Contact our family law solicitors about spousal maintenance today.

At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we offer specialist legal advice with a high level of experience in financial disclosure, spousal maintenance and children maintenance.

If you are going through a divorce, need advice on a spousal maintenance order or you would like to speak to an expert family lawyer or mediator, call our principal, Akash Soni, or his team on 01494 328825 or Make An Online Enquiry Today .

We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner and working tirelessly to achieve the right result.

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