-Fixed Fees | No Hidden Charges-


Sultan Lloyd

Welcome to Sultan Lloyd Solicitors' latest news section. This section provides you with the latest news and developments in the field of Immigration Law, Family Law and Human Rights and Asylum Law. Also, you can download our newsletter bulletin from the sub-menu on the right hand side of this page. It keeps you up to date with the latest legal news and developments throughout the UK.

Spousal Maintenance – The Essentials

The term spousal maintenance conjures up images of super-rich celebrities or entrepreneurs being forced to hand over thousands of pounds per week to support their wife’s shopping addiction.

However, in real life the law of spousal maintenance is complex, made even more so by the fact that negotiations must be done when the relationship has broken down and parties want to move on.

Spousal maintenance exists so that the needs which the marriage has generated will not be rendered unfundable if the marriage fails.  If a wife (for simplicities sake I will refer to the ‘wife’ and ‘her’ in this article but increasingly it is the husband who is applying for financial provision) has given up her career to stay at home and raise children, her career and income expectations will be limited.  This is especially so if the marriage lasted many years.

Whatever happened to a ‘clean break’?

It can be difficult for a party to comprehend having to support an ex-spouse after a divorce. I have had many clients stare at me disbelievingly when I inform them that the person they no longer love (and in many cases don’t even like), is entitled to a percentage of their future income.

Although there is no automatic entitlement to spousal maintenance, the court has a duty under legislation to consider whether a clean break can be achieved or one party requires further financial support. 

How is spousal maintenance calculated?

The amount of maintenance awarded is based on ‘need’.  Unfortunately, there is no objective test to measure the lifestyle needs of a person and their potential income, so all cases must be decided individually, with the Judge making a call as to what is fair based on the evidence before him or her.

Another complicating factor is that expenses can vary year on year. 

What factors does a Judge take into account when deciding whether to award spousal maintenance?

The court takes eight factors into account in deciding whether or not to award spousal maintenance, namely:
  1. your respective present and future income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources;
  2. your respective financial needs, obligations and responsibilities;
  3. your standard of living before the marriage broke down;
  4. your age and the duration of the marriage;
  5. any disabilities;
  6. your respective contributions to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family;
  7. your respective conduct;
  8. any benefits a party will lose after divorce.

Will I be forced to make periodic payments or can I pay spousal maintenance in one lump sum?

The court prefers to order lump sum payments if possible as this allows for the desired ‘clean break’ most couples seek.  If it does not make sense for a lump sum to be paid immediately (due to lack of capital) as an alternative, the court can order periodic payments which can end on a specified date.

In certain cases, the court will make a monthly Periodical Payments Order.   It may also issue a Secured Periodical Payment Order, which secures payment on a particular asset so that if the party who is supposed to pay maintenance dies or defaults, the other party can demand the sale of the asset to fund future payments.

What is the procedure for applying for spousal maintenance?

The first step after an application for financial provision is made is for the Judge to consider the application in a First Directions Appointment.  Both parties are required to attend and fully disclose their financial situation.

At the First Directions Appointment the Judge can:
  1. Give further directions on how the case will proceed. For example, the Judge might need further information and adjourn the hearing whilst this is being collated and examined.
  2. Make a final order in respect of the application.
  3. Refer the case to a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing.
  4. Order the couple to attend mediation.
Most cases are negotiated and settled before the final hearing.  If this is achieved then the couple can ask the court for a Consent Order, making the agreement legally binding.

If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, the court will order a date for a final hearing and impose a settlement after hearing both sides of the case.

It is imperative to seek advice from an experienced family solicitor if you wish to seek financial provision.  It is a complicated process and without professional guidance you risk settling for a sum far less than you may be legally entitled to.

Sultan Lloyd Solicitors have the experience and expertise required to successfully advise clients on all separation and divorce matters.  To find out how we can help you, please contact our Birmingham office on 0121 222 7643 to make an appointment with one of our family law team.

Judicial Review 101
R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) v Secr...

Online Enquiry

Our Success Stories

In the course of delivering excellent service to best serve the individual cases, we have emerged successful in a number of cases.

Here is the list

Read our latest blogs

Love conquers all; except the UK visa system. Every year, many couples endure forced separation because one party cannot obtain a UK Spouse visa. During her time in as Home Secretary, Theresa May to...
When a couple divorce, emotions can run rampant. Even if both parties vow to be as ‘amicable as possible’ and ‘get on for the sake of the children’, anger, frustration and bitterness can spill over. ...
EU citizens residing in the UK are worried. They are right to be so. The referendum result is an emotional upheaval. But politics is one thing and law another. At Sultan Lloyd we understand the fe...


'My friends, the Patel family, were referred to Harminder Meht of Sultan Lloyd in September 2013.  We met Harminder when circumstances were very challenging and Harminder explained the available options very clearly, helpfully and with evident empathy and understanding.  Thereafter she and her colleagues helped us at every step including securing legal aid despite the fact that a previous solicitor had not identified that this was possible. Harminder was instrumental in securing the release from detention of one member of the family and following a difficult judicial review process she obtained a Home Office decision that allows the family leave to remain in the UK, to work and study here for the next 30 months. We are all delighted with Harminder and Sultan Lloyd and we are very happy to recommend Harminder and Sultan Lloyd to future users of their services.'

-- Alasdair Denton

'With a track record of involvement in all kinds of business and private applications, Country Guidance cases, judicial reviews and appeals to the Court of Appeal, Sultan Lloyd have expertise both in publicly funded work and commercial immigration, making them one of the outstanding immigration specialists in the Midlands.'

-- Mark Symes, Counsel at Garden Court Chambers, London

'I have been instructed by Messrs SL for a number of years and in various asylum and immigration matters. The firm has always provided a friendly and professional service and is dedicated to achieving the most favourable outcome for their clients. The staff is both efficient and courteous and offers a valuable service to vulnerable clients. I would rate the firm as amongst the very best in this area of law, proven by their many reported cases. I would wholeheartedly recommend this firm to anyone seeking representation in an asylum or immigration case.'
-- Issac Maka, Counsel, London

'As one of SL's ex clients, I can say that they worked very accurately and hard on my case. They also used very good quality interpreters.'
-- Ismail Mohammed Nazhad, Ex asylum client, Birmingham

'SL is a very trustworthy and reliable firm, helping those people seeking asylum. I hope they continue working in this way.'

-- Kurdo Rezaie, Ex asylum client, Birmingham

'. . . a reliable, efficient firm. They explained things very clearly and did exactly what they said they would. I was really impressed with their friendly and efficient service.'-- Miss N Osman, Birmingham