Finances on divorce the legal position

When a couple enter into a marriage they are undertaking a duty to support one another, both emotionally and financially. What many spouses do not know is that, in the event of separation, whilst the emotional duty may come to an end, the duty to financially support their spouse and family does not.

Whether a separating married couple decide to divorce or not, the duty continues until such time as the court formally dismisses it.

This can result in one spouse having to provide the other with monthly payments, known as spousal maintenance, and possibly child maintenance.  If one spouse has a higher income than the other a great deal of conflict can arise as to what amount, if any, should be paid each month.

If you believe you may be entitled to spousal maintenance and/or child maintenance or think you may have to pay it, you should try and seek advice at an early stage; this can minimise any dispute and ensure everyone knows where they stand at the outset.