This arrangement is to assist the party who cannot meet their own reasonable needs at the time of separation.

It is a temporary arrangement, until that party is able to support themselves again. This is different than child support, where financial support is provided to the other parent for the care of children.

For more information on spousal maintenance, please see the articles on divorce below. Jeremy can provide consultations either in person or via Skype.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I force my ex to pay half of the mortgage payments?

If you are struggling to make these payments, you may want to consider asking your bank to pay interest only while you resolve relationship property matters. There are consequences for this, obviously, but you can talk these through with your bank. It may also help to draw up a budget of your income and outgoings when looking at matters going forward. We would be happy to meet with you and discuss all of these issues further.

Moving out of the family home and the bills…who pays?

If one person moves out of a home that is jointly owned in a relationship, are they still responsible to pay for half of the household bills like the mortgage, power, insurance after they leave?

There are three issues to address here:

1. Partner with no kids in the home

Normally the partner may be expected to pay their own expenses in the family home. This depends on their income compared to the partner moving out and other issues. Is there a mortgage on the home? How long is this occupation going to be for?

2. Partner with kids still in the family home

This is normally an exception to point one above. If you have children in the home under 16, then the Family Court will most likely be more lenient in the event that you or your partner are not contributing toward those expenses as the person who moves out must find another residence.

However, if your case is one where spousal maintenance will be ordered, contributing toward those expenses can be considered part of that and can avoid or reduce any alleged expenses in the future. Find a specialist lawyer as soon as possible to discuss.


The first is the obligation to your creditors, and the second is the obligation for you or your partner to continue paying the bills.

You are equally liable in the eyes of the creditors for the the bills to be paid, unless you are able to transfer things like the utilities out of your name. Obviously, if your partner does not make these payments and you are still technically liable, your credit will be harmed. The bank deals with these cases all the time and may be flexible.

Possible options:

  • Seek a Mortgage holiday
  • Seek an interest only mortgage
  • Talk to family members for support
  • Get a flatmate into the house

Who pays the Court filing fee and Court hearing fee in relationship property matters?

The Ministry of Justice does not specify who is required to pay the filing fee. However, generally the Applicant is responsible for meeting these costs as it is their application that the Court is determining. Clients in receipt of legal aid can apply to the Ministry of Justice for these costs to be waived.