It very much depends on your situation. There are two kinds of maintenance. The first kind is maintenance for the benefit of any children of the family – this is known as “child maintenance”.

The second type is maintenance for the benefit of a spouse – this is known as “spousal maintenance”.

The starting point for child maintenance is to look at what the parent with whom the children does not live for most of the time (known as the “non-resident parent”) must pay to support the children. We will look at what the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) (which replaced the CSA) calculates the non-resident parent should pay based on their income before tax. Further payments may, however, be required over and above the CMS formula. Whether you have to pay, or are entitled to receive, spousal maintenance will depend on the circumstances of your case. Relevant factors are likely to be:

  • Whether you have children under 18
  • The financial needs, assets and ability to earn an income of you and your spouse
  • The standard of living you had before your marriage broke down
  • How old you are and how long you have been married
  • Any special needs you may have, such as health issues
  • Any particular contributions you may have made to the welfare of the family

We will be able to advise you as to the amount of any child or spousal maintenance and for how long this should be paid.