When a relationship ends, it is important to make sure you and any children you have are financially secure for the future. Making a spousal maintenance and/or child maintenance agreement can help to give you certainty that everyone’s financial needs will be met, both in the short and long-term.
We can help you by:
- Helping you obtain financial information from your spouse/civil partner
- Advising you on a fair amount for maintenance
- Making your application to court or defending an application if the amount of spousal maintenance or periodical payments cannot be agreed
- Advising you on applications to vary the amount of maintenance
- Advising you of the likely legal costs involved
With strong skills in constructive negotiation and many different alternative dispute resolution methods at our disposal, we can almost always help separating couples reach an agreement on these issues without the need for contentious court proceedings.
Our expertise with child and spousal maintenance
“Claire Schneck has been amazing. At such an emotional time in my life she has gently guided me through the maze of legal options. She has a way with her that makes you feel safe and supported."
Our family lawyers in Orpington have decades of experience and extensive specialist training. This allows us to offer the high levels of expertise in dealing with both straightforward and complex child and spousal maintenance issues.
This expertise is reflected in the following ways:
- Ranked Band 2 for Family Law by Chambers & Partners with individual rankings of Band 2 for Claire Schneck and Band 3 for Kevin Bristow.
- Ranked Tier 4 for Family by the Legal 500.
- Kevin Bristow is a law Society accredited specialist in Family Law Advanced
- Kevin Bristow is also a trained collaborative lawyer
- Several of our family lawyers are members of Resolution, the network for family law specialists committed to removing conflict from divorce and family law
“[Kevin Bristow] gets straight to the core of it and he doesn't spend time waffling, so he gets straight to the point."
Child and spousal maintenance explained
If your spouse/civil partner was the main earner in the marriage or earned more than you and supported you financially then you may be able to apply for maintenance payments from them (‘spousal maintenance’ or ‘periodical payments’).
The amount that you could receive will depend on your circumstances, in particular your income and outgoings and your spouse’s/civil partner’s income and outgoings.
Child maintenance is different to spousal maintenance or periodical payments and is paid separately. A parent who does not live with their child (‘non-resident parent’) is under a duty to pay child maintenance to the child’s primary carer for the child’s living costs.
The amount of child maintenance can be agreed between the parties, agreed in a court order or either parent can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) who will then make a calculation based on the net income of the non-resident parent and whether the children stay with them overnight.
Sometimes the parties will agree additional payments for the benefit of a child, such as payments for the child’s private school fees or nursery fees.
How we handle child and spousal maintenance claims
Most people prefer to avoid conflict when making financial arrangements following divorce or separation. We reflect this in our approach, with an emphasis on encouraging the parties to work together constructively to reach a mutual agreement on child and spousal maintenance.
Our team offer strong skills in constructive negotiation and we have an in-house collaborative law, Kevin Bristow, who can offer this highly effective method of alternative dispute resolution.
Collaborative law involves both parties and their respective lawyers meeting to work together to agree the details of a separation, including around financial matters. It can be a very good option, especially where there are complex issues to work through.
Where court proceedings are required, we can help with making the necessary applications and ensure you have the best possible representation and close personal support through every stage of proceedings.
Our child and spousal maintenance fees
We know the cost of legal advice and representation can be a concern when going through divorce and separation, especially where your current financial circumstances may be difficult and uncertain.
We keep our pricing open and clear, with competitive rates benchmarked against comparable firms. We offer flexible payment options, such as Deferred Fee Agreements, allowing you to structure your payments in a way that fits your circumstances.
We can often offer fixed fees for individual pieces of work, such as applications for Consent Orders. Alternatively, we can calculate our fees on an hourly basis where this is more appropriate for your needs.
Find out more about our fees.