High Maintenance?—Spousal Maintenance in England & Wales

It has recently been confirmed what family lawyers have long understood: English and Welsh divorce law remains one of the most generous in the world to the financially weaker party.

The latest report on spousal maintenance details England and Wales as the fifth most generous (out of the sixteen jurisdictions measured). India and the state of California have been ranked as the most generous; with Finland, UAE, and Israel as the least.

Spousal maintenance orders can be made as part of the financial aspects of divorce or civil partnership dissolution proceedings. They can be made on a ‘joint-lives’ basis (i.e. until either party dies, until the recipient remarries, or on further order of the court); or, as has been the trend in recent years, on a fixed term basis.

Well publicised recent Family Court judgments have begun to indicate a move away from the expectation that the financially weaker party should receive indefinite financial support from his or her former spouse. Typically now non-working, separated husbands and wives are being told that they could pursue some form of part-time work, particularly around the time that any dependant children become settled at primary school.

Whatever your circumstances, it is crucial that you seek legal advice prior to committing to a financial settlement. Our friendly family solicitors have a wealth of experience in all cases relating to separation and financial settlements—call us on 0161 969 3131 to discuss any family law issue.