Spousal and civil partner maintenance—client guide
Spousal and civil partner maintenance—client guide

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Spousal and civil partner maintenance—client guide
  • Who can apply for maintenance?
  • What happens when the application is received by the court?
  • How does the court decide how much maintenance to order?
  • Is interim maintenance available?
  • Financial needs
  • Standard of living
  • What maintenance orders can the court make?
  • How much maintenance will you receive?
  • What happens if you remarry or enter into another civil partnership during the term of the maintenance order?
  • more

This document provides general guidance regarding an application to the court for maintenance on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.

Who can apply for maintenance?

Either spouse or civil partner may make an application to the court for a spousal or civil partner maintenance order, also known as a periodical payments order. The person making the application is the applicant and the other person is the respondent.

A potential applicant must, except in certain specified circumstances, consider with a mediator whether the dispute may be capable of being resolved through mediation. The court will expect all applicants to have complied with these requirements before commencing proceedings and will expect any respondent to have attended a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM), if invited to do so. For details of the requirement to attend a MIAM see: Non-court dispute resolution—client guide.

What happens when the application is received by the court?

When either party makes an application to the court, the court automatically generates standard directions to progress your case and the timetable for the case is confirmed. For details of the procedure see: Financial applications to the court—client guide.