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How to Quantify Maintenance

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Following divorce, there is often insufficient income or capital to support the same standard of living as during marriage. Now there are two households to support and the necessary sacrifices, although wealthy couples with plentiful resources may not face the same compromise.

Recent judgments have noted that whilst the standard of living should be considered in how to divide the assets of the marriage, it cannot be the decisive factor.

In quantifying the amount of maintenance due, the court will consider your marital living standards against other factors relevant to the financial settlement, including your current and future income; your age and financial needs; and, if possible, endeavour to facilitate your financial independence from your spouse post-divorce.

Each case is unique and considered on its own merits. So, for example, in a long marriage where the wife has contributed to the welfare of the family during and after the marriage by giving up her career to look after the children, the court is more likely to award maintenance at a level which is similar to the standard enjoyed during marriage.

By contrast, in a short marriage where one party is particularly wealthy, there are cases to suggest the court felt it unfair that the less wealthy party should expect to be maintained at the same level they enjoyed during the brief union.

Of course, such an outcome would never apply in all cases because the resolution of financial disputes cannot be decided by the application of simple mathematical formulae but careful consideration of the individual needs of your family.

Follow these tips and you will be in a better place emotionally and financially to start the divorce process.

To find out more, call Donna Goodsell at Goodsells Family Law on 020 7622 2221 or email

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