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Can I claim maintenance from my spouse while our divorce proceedings are ongoing?


When couples separate, they often find their day to day financial position changes dramatically.

It is usually the case that, following a separation, a couple will have to maintain two separate homes where they would have previously occupied only one. The cost of this will be considerable and may leave one spouse in a position where they can no longer afford to pay their outgoings using their own income.

We regularly encounter situations where one of the couple is the principal wage earner for the household, while their spouse may have a lower wage income, work part time, or stay at home to care for the children. When a couple in these circumstances separates, the spouse with the lower income may struggle to meet even basic outgoings.

Many people are aware that the individual with care of the children can claim financial support from the other parent by way of child support maintenance. However, in some circumstances it is also possible to claim spousal maintenance, which can be claimed even while the divorce proceedings are on-going. This is Maintenance Pending Suit.

In order to claim Maintenance Pending Suit it is necessary for the person applying to establish that they are unable to pay their outgoings from their own income. They must also demonstrate that their spouse has a surplus of income over and above their own reasonable expenditure. If this can be established then maintenance will be paid while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. It will then be necessary for a decision to be taken on whether the maintenance continues to be paid once the divorce is finalised.  

If you are in this situation it is important to seek the advice of a specialist family lawyer.

If you would like to discuss this or any other family law matter, please contact Janine Hutson on 01772 258321, or at

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