During a marriage, sometimes one spouse will stay at home caring for the children whilst the other spouse continues going to work, often increasing their income during that time.

Therefore, it is quite natural for the spouse that stayed at home to worry how they will meet their on-going financial obligations and needs, whilst the other spouse will also naturally worry that they will have to financially support the other spouse for a long-time.

Whilst financial support in such circumstances has to be considered, it is not something that will necessarily last in the long-term. The Court will of course take into account both spouse’s financial positions now and in the future, including any earning capacity that each may have. If one spouse needs financial support by way of maintenance and the other spouse has the means to provide this, then the Court might make an order requiring a payment of maintenance and in those circumstances the Court will consider how long any support should remain in place.

An alternative way of dealing with this, if there are sufficient assets, would be for a lump sum to be paid instead of maintenance or for one spouse to receive a greater share of the other assets, such as the family home, in order to achieve a clean break.