After a divorce it is common for one party to pay maintenance to the other. This is the case if there are children involved but if one partner has been the main earner during the marriage then they may also have to pay spousal maintenance even if there are no children.
Unfortunately the area of maintenance is very murky and often situations arise when there are no exact guidelines. This is why it is crucial that you seek good legal advice from an experienced family lawyer when you are either seeking maintenance or want to stop paying maintenance to your ex-spouse.
Generally speaking when maintenance levels are agreed during the divorce settlement there will be a clause stating that levels may change if there is a change of circumstance. For example, if you receive child maintenance from an ex-spouse and they have a big promotion you can argue that they should now be paying more. Or, if you pay spousal maintenance and your ex-spouse moves in with a new partner with a good salary then you can argue that they no longer need the maintenance that you are paying.
In these cases it often involves going back to the courtroom to come to a new agreement. Before you do so consult with your family lawyer in order to get some idea of the likely outcome of the case and to collect any evidence that you may need of the change in circumstance.
However, it is not just issues with requests for the ex-spouse that we have experience in. Collecting child maintenance payments through the child support agency or the child maintenance service also causes people on both sides of the deal problems. Mistakes are often made by this government service and people can be left feeling bewildered an unsure about their legal rights and requirements.
If this is the case we can help you to work through everything that has happened up to this point and determine whether or not there has been a mistake or an overpayment or underpayment.
Maintenance is not an easy subject to navigate which is why you must seek expert legal advice when you are looking to make any changes so you do not end up losing money.