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Family money

Varying spousal maintenance payments

If you are receiving regular payments (often called spousal maintenance) from your former husband, wife or civil partner you may be able to ask for an increase in payments if your circumstances have changed.

Both you and your former spouse or civil partner can apply to vary a spousal maintenance order.  You may wish to apply for an increase if your circumstances have changed for the worse, but equally your ex may wish to apply for a reduction or dismissal, if their circumstances justify it.

A common reason for an application to vary spousal maintenance is a change in employment status and earnings, including retirement when income might drop but there might also be a lump sum payment. Alternatively, if one of you moves in with a new partner this might reflect a change in needs.

Our family solicitors can make an application to the court on your behalf and usually your application will be considered within four to eight weeks, although it may take longer before a final decision is made.

When considering the application, the court’s primary concern will be to ensure the continued welfare of any dependent children.  However, account will also be taken of the wider circumstances of the case, including income versus outgoings for both of you, as well as your employment status and any health issues.

The court can make a range of orders, depending on the circumstances.  Maintenance payments may be increased or reduced, the length of time for which maintenance must be paid may be extended or shortened.  If your former spouse or civil partner can afford it, an order may be made for all your maintenance to be paid at once in the form of a lump sum, an option called ‘capitalisation’.

We can advise you

Based in the City of London our family solicitors are on hand for a convenient appointment between meetings or before your commute home. We will explain your options in straightforward language so that you can make informed decisions about what is best for you and your children.

We are used to working with busy executives and international families and regularly have meetings via Skype with clients in other time zones.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise you on the options that may be available to you.

Contact our matrimonial team

To organise an initial consultation, in complete confidence, please contact a member of our specialist family team who will be able to help.

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