Spousal Maintenance – the end of long term orders?

 

Whether or not you need to pay maintenance to your spouse on divorce can be a contentious issue. In the past the court were making very generous awards to some spouses which was seen to provide them with a “meal ticket for life” because of the length that the maintenance payments have to be paid for and the high level of those payments. There have, however, been recent cases in the media which appear to highlight that the Court are clamping down idea on the idea of the ‘meal ticket’ for life.

Instead, the financially weaker spouse is being urged to go back into the working environment and utilise previous skills or re-train to obtain new ones to enable them to support themselves.

The Court’s primary consideration is ensuring that the needs of any children are met. The Court will also  consider the length of time it could take to enable the financially weaker spouse to be financially self-sufficient.  However, the Court  appears to be making it clear that the fateful day will occur when  reliance on the financially stronger spouse will have to come to an end. Financial independence is the key.

This of course will depend on the individual facts of each case. At Slater Heelis we have a team of family law specialists who would be able to give guidance and support on such issues as detailed above.