Where no adequate financial provision is made for a spouse after separation, as soon as the divorce process is started they can apply to the court for a share of their higher earning spouse’s income (known as maintenance) in the interim, until financial matters are properly resolved. This can include:
- Maintenance pending suit/interim maintenance: a monthly sum which is intended to top up their own sources of income to meet their essential living costs and those of any children. This will exclude any luxury items like holidays. It is intended to be enough to enable them to live through the divorce process without incurring credit damage which could have huge implications on the options available within the divorce.
- A legal services order: an order that a spouse provides a monthly sum (or a lump sum) to cover their legal fees. The court will use this power where there is no other source of funding available for legal fees (and they cannot get a litigation loan) to put the spouses on an equal footing in terms of their ability to fund independent legal advice.