Katie Taft

Partner, Solicitor & Mediator

DATE PUBLISHED: 21 Sep 2023 LAST UPDATED: 24 Jan 2024

Can I increase my maintenance?

As the cost of living continues to rise, we are being approached by an increasing number of clients who are struggling to meet these soaring costs and need advice about whether they can request an increase either in their child maintenance or spousal maintenance payments. Before embarking on a detailed review of your financial circumstances (and those of your former partner) there are some self-help options available as follows:

  1. Child maintenance – the appropriate rate of child maintenance is determined by the Child Maintenance Service (save for circumstances when this has been dealt with by way of a financial order on divorce or a Schedule 1 claim). The amount payable is based on a formula set by the government and assuming the income of your former partner is known, you can calculate the correct amount. If the rate of maintenance paid for your children has been static for quite some time, it may be worth revisiting this calculation, particularly given that many employers have granted larger than normal pay rises in recent years in an attempt to keep up with the rate of inflation. However, it is important to understand that if a formal application to the Child Maintenance Service is made, this could result in payments being decreased as well as increased.
  2. Spousal maintenance – it is quite common for any financial orders made on divorce to include provision for maintenance to be varied year on year in line with the rate of inflation. Again, given the spike in the rate of inflation in recent times, this may result in an automatic increase in any spousal maintenance payments being paid. It is therefore worth checking the terms of any financial order made on divorce.

These are options are most appropriate whereby the payer is an employee receiving a PAYE salary. However, whereby the payer is self employed or runs their own business,  specialist advice will be required. Our team have considerable experience in dealing with applications for upward and downward variations in maintenance and can help to navigate this complex area of law. Should you need further advice, please call our Family team on 01202 636 223 or email MatrimonialDept@ellisjones.co.uk.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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