Spousal maintenance is maintenance that is paid by a husband or a wife to their former spouse or civil partner following a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership and is in addition to the child maintenance. There is no automatic entitlement to spousal maintenance on divorce or dissolution. Spousal maintenance is usually paid on a monthly basis and continues either for a defined period (term of years) or for the remainder of the parties’ life (known as a “joint lives order”). It may be varied or dismissed by the courts on a change in circumstances.  Spousal maintenance ends if the recipient remarries or if either party dies.

Specialist Spousal Maintenance Solicitors

Our expert team of spousal maintenance solicitors are specialists in spousal maintenance matters. As one of the best spousal maintenance solicitors, our lawyers have wealth of knowledge and experience to provide legal advice and representations concerning spousal maintenance matters.

Need legal help and assistance with your spousal maintenance? Contact our expert team of spousal maintenance solicitors in LondonManchester or Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for your spousal maintenance applicationAsk a question to our specialist spousal maintenance solicitors for free advice online for spousal maintenance by completing our enquiry form and one of our spousal maintenance lawyers will answer your question as soon as possible.

Who Is Entitled To Claim Spousal Maintenance?

When a couple separate whether one party is entitled to claim spousal maintenance from the other is a common concern. There are several factors that need to be considered. To establish whether you are likely to be entitled to spousal maintenance you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your financial needs and income potential? Can these needs be met without the support of your former spouse?
  • Have you been married for a long time and given up work to support your spouse or family by becoming the home maker?
  • Are you of an age where establishing a career, to deliver the kind of lifestyle you have been used to, would be difficult?
  • Would you be financially better off having a financial clean break and lump sum from your from your former spouse, rather than maintenance?
  • Are you prepared to take your case to court, if your former spouse will not agree to spousal maintenance?
  • Are you planning to re-marry? (if you do you will lose your right to spousal maintenance)

The conditions under which spousal maintenance might be paid vary, as every marriage varies. If a couple have been together for a long time and one party has given up work to run the home whilst the other has developed a career and been the family breadwinner there are arguments to say that the homemaker is entitled to financial support, in the form of spousal maintenance, if the marriage breaks down and on the basis that the spouse in need cannot support themselves financially from income they have coming in from other sources.

As is often the case with family law, every case is different. It is therefore important to take advice from a divorce and family lawyer. They will be able to consider your circumstances and advise on the likely success of your case.

Informal Spousal Maintenance Agreements

Many separating couples enter into informal financial settlement agreements which also provide for the spousal maintenance to be paid in lump sum amount. In such case, the couple normally informally agree to split capital assets like a house or savings in favour of the home maker, whilst the breadwinner, who has more potential to generate income and wealth on an ongoing basis takes a smaller share. In this case, spousal maintenance is deemed to have been capitalised, rather than being paid in monthly instalments.

In other cases, spousal maintenance is paid on a regular basis, intended as income to cover the living costs of the spouse receiving it.

If your former spouse is not willing to reach an agreement about the spousal maintenance you will need to ask the courts to consider your case and they will decide whether you are entitled to spousal maintenance. If they think so they will make a court order for spousal maintenance to be paid by your former spouse.

How Much Sunrise Solicitors Charge For Spousal Maintenance?

Our Fixed Fees For Spousal Maintenance

Our fixed fees for various stages of the spousal maintenance proceedings are given in the fee table below. The agreed fixed fee will be dependent on the volume of work involved in the case and the complexity of the matter. Please be advised that our fixed fees do not cover the court fees and the Barrister's fees.

Casework Stage Fixed Fee Range (Acting For The Petitioner) Fixed Fee Range (Acting For The Respondent)
Preparation for mediation for spousal maintenance, mediation referral and follow up advice. From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT
In case of agreement being reached in mediation, reviewing agreement and advising on the same. Where acting for the petitioner, preparing and filing of consent order with the family court. From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT From £500 + VAT To £600 + VAT

In case of no agreement being reached in mediation, all the work from issuing financial proceedings until First Appointment Hearing which includes the following:

  • completing form A and filing the same with the court;
  • complying with the court directions;
  • completion of Form E;
  • preparation of Questionnaires and Chronology;
  • preparation for First Appointment Hearing;
  • attending the family court for First Appointment Hearing to assist the Barrister in the case.
 From £1,200 + VAT To £1,800 + VAT From £1,000 + VAT To £1,500 + VAT

Preparation for First Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearing which includes the following:

  • replying to the Questionnaire;
  • complying with the court directions;
  • assisting with valuation of properties, if applicable;
  • negotiations and offers;
  • preparation of court bundles, where acting for the petitioner;
  • attending the family court for First Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearing to assist the Barrister in the case.
From £1,500 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT From £1,200 + VAT To £1,800 + VAT

Preparation for Final Hearing which includes the following:

  • complying with court directions;
  • preparing any witness statements;
  • instructing and briefing the Barrister for the court hearing;
  • attending any pre-hearing conference with the barrister, where necessary;
  • making necessary preparations for the final hearing;
  • attending the family court for Final Hearing to assist the Barrister in the case.
From £1,800 + VAT To £2,200 + VAT From £1,800 + VAT To £2,200 + VAT

Our Hourly Rates For Spousal Maintenance

  • Our team of spousal maintenance solicitors will charge on hourly rate basis with hourly rate starting from £150 + VAT to £250 + VAT per hour in relation to your spousal maintenance application. The agreed hourly rate will be dependent on the complexity of the matter.

FAQs - Spousal Maintenance UK

What is spousal maintenance UK?

Spousal maintenance is maintenance that is paid by a husband or a wife to their former spouse following a divorce and is in addition to the child maintenance. Spousal maintenance is usually paid on a monthly basis and continues either for a defined period (term of years) or for the remainder of the parties’ life (known as a “joint lives order”). Spousal maintenance ends if the recipient remarries or if either party dies. It may be varied or dismissed by the courts on a change in circumstances.

How long does spousal maintenance last in England & Wales?

If the marriage or civil partnership is short (typically, less than five years), it might not be paid at all or only for a short period through what's called a 'term order'. Where a couple has been together for a long time, or where an ex-partner is unable to work, it can be paid for life.

When does spousal maintenance stop?

Spousal maintenance usually stops if:

  • The payment term ends;
  • You or your ex-partner die, or
  • The person receiving spousal maintenance remarries or enters another civil partnership

It doesn’t necessarily stop if they live with a new partner without marrying or entering a civil partnership, although the person paying it could use this as a reason to apply to the courts to get the spousal maintenance amount reduced.

Who is entitled to claim spousal maintenance?

When a couple separate whether one party is entitled to claim spousal maintenance from the other is a common concern. There are several factors that need to be considered. To establish whether you are likely to be entitled to spousal maintenance you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your financial needs and income potential? Can these needs be met without the support of your former spouse?
  • Have you been married for a long time and given up work to support your spouse or family by becoming the home maker?
  • Are you of an age where establishing a career, to deliver the kind of lifestyle you have been used to, would be difficult?
  • Would you be financially better off having a financial clean break and lump sum from your from your former spouse, rather than maintenance?
  • Are you prepared to take your case to court, if your former spouse will not agree to spousal maintenance?
  • Are you planning to re-marry? (if you do you will lose your right to spousal maintenance)

The conditions under which spousal maintenance might be paid vary, as every marriage varies. If a couple have been together for a long time and one party has given up work to run the home whilst the other has developed a career and been the family breadwinner there are arguments to say that the homemaker is entitled to financial support, in the form of spousal maintenance, if the marriage breaks down and on the basis that the spouse in need cannot support themselves financially from income they have coming in from other sources.

As is often the case with family law, every case is different. It is therefore important to take advice from a divorce and family lawyer. They will be able to consider your circumstances and advise on the likely success of your case.

How can I calculate spousal maintenance?

There are no hard and fast rules relating to spousal maintenance calculation.

In deciding whether spousal maintenance is appropriate and for how long, the court will consider a number of factors including:

  • the length of the marriage
  • whether there are minor children
  • whether there is an income disparity between the couple
  • how their housing needs are met
  • whether a spouse has a continuing financial need
  • whether a spouse has a diminished earning capacity.

Spousal maintenance is ordered by the court to enable the financially weaker spouse a period of time to adjust to being financially independent, without significant hardship. There is no set formula.