My ex has moved in with a new partner, do I still need to pay maintenance?
Maintenance can be for the benefit of your children or for the benefit of your ex-spouse. Maintenance is also known as periodical payments.
Child Maintenance is often calculated using the Child Maintenance Service calculator based upon your gross earnings, the amount of overnight care you provide to your children and if you have to pay maintenance for any other children. If you have other children who live with you then this is also factored in. If your ex-partner has a “lives with” Order or has the lion's share of the overnight care of the children the you are required to pay child maintenance to them.
If your ex-partner has moved in with someone else, child maintenance continues as the new partner does not assume financial responsibility for your children. Child maintenance remains payable, usually until the child reaches the age of 18 or finishes full time secondary education, whichever is the later. This can be varied between the parties but this will not depend upon cohabitation.
You can also reach an agreement with your ex-partner as to how much child maintenance should be paid, rather than utilising the Child Maintenance Service if you wish. Child Maintenance should be reviewed annually or if there is a significant change to your income or the time that you care for the children overnight. If child maintenance is recorded within a Court Order, we can advise you when the amount paid can be varied.
Spousal maintenance and the end of these payments depends upon the terms as set out in the Court Order. If a financial agreement has not yet been reached, we can consider the financial circumstances to advise whether spousal maintenance is appropriate for your case.
Spousal maintenance is usually agreed on a “needs” basis taking into account both parties’ reasonable outgoings, income and financial circumstances. Consideration will also be given to the period of time maintenance should be paid for and when it should reduce, increase or end as appropriate. You can also have global maintenance which is a combination of child and spousal maintenance but this is only appropriate in certain circumstances.
Cohabitation is not an automatic trigger to the end of spousal maintenance but remarriage is. However if your Court Order sets out that cohabitation will bring an end to maintenance then this is binding. It is important to know what your Court Order sets out.
Regardless of whether your query relates to spousal maintenance, child maintenance or both together we are able to assist and advise you on these issues. Please contact a member of our team on 0800 488 0218 to arrange a free appointment.
Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, Guildford, London, Bracknell, Camberley, Farnborough and Woking.
Watson Thomas are a dedicated team of Family Lawyers who specialise in all aspects of family law.
Our staff can work from home and access all systems so even if all are required to self-isolate this will not affect the day-to-day running of your case. We can also hold appointments via telephone and video conferencing, as needs be, to ensure that your service is not interrupted.