Q. I am currently issuing divorce proceedings, what is spousal maintenance and am I entitled to it?
A. Spousal maintenance is the on-going obligation of one spouse to pay periodical payments to the other spouse upon divorce, nullity or judicial separation.
Spousal maintenance offers assistance where one party to the proceedings may be financially weaker upon separation and requires some financial support.
Spousal maintenance can be in addition to child maintenance. Spousal maintenance may be applicable where, for example, there is a long marriage and one party has sacrificed a career, and therefore an income, during the marriage.
Periodical payments can either last for a set period of time or can last for life depending on which is appropriate in the parties’ particular circumstances.
The criteria for such maintenance will depend upon a number of factors, an example being, the needs of one party as against the ability to pay of the other party. Spousal maintenance can be a complex area so I would advise anyone looking for further information to get in contact or seek expert legal advice.