Varying a spousal maintenance order

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If you are receiving 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 and your former spouse or partner can afford it.

Danelle Foley, family law expert at Mooney Everett Solicitors in Ormskirk, Lancashire, explains the rules about changing the amount of financial support you receive after divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership.

When might a variation of spousal maintenance be appropriate?

A variation of spousal maintenance might be appropriate if the financial circumstances of either you or your former spouse or civil partner have changed since it was first agreed. This could be that you have lost your job, are facing increased living costs or planning retirement.

To enable the court to consider your application properly it is important that you provide full details of your financial circumstances, together with an explanation of how these have changed since the original spousal maintenance order was made. Your former spouse or civil partner will also have to provide details about their financial position.

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.

How do I apply to vary spousal maintenance?

Your solicitor can make an application to the court on your behalf and
the court can make a range of orders, depending on the circumstances. Alternatively, mediation or collaborative law can be a quicker and more cost-effective way of resolving the matter.

For advice about spousal maintenance, or any other family law matter, please contact Danelle Foley on 01695 317 485 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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