When a relationship ends, there are decisions and agreements that need to be made regarding how you and your ex-partner will move on financially.
There are two types of maintenance which are determined by whether there are dependant children affected by the separation.
If you have children...
Wherever you live in the UK, if you have children under the age of 16 (or 20 if they are in full time education below A-level grade) you have legal financial responsibility for your children.
The parent who does not have day-to-day responsibility for the children pays maintenance to the parent who does (the "receiving parent").
Child Maintenance can be arranged between yourselves (this is called a Family Based Arrangement) and Child Maintenance Options is an impartial organisation that supports parents to come to mutually agreed Child Maintenance arrangements.
They have produced some information to help parents work through the options available without having to go through official channels.
If you are unable to come to an agreement, there are Statutory Child Maintenance Services that you can apply to for a resolution.
If you do not have children...
If you do not have children, maintenance may still be payable to the partner who has the lower income.
This is not payable in all divorce/separation cases and can be paid for a fixed term or for life, all dependent upon individual circumstance.
If you cannot agree between you, then the Courts will decide how much maintenance is payable and for how long.
If you are in receipt of maintenance from your ex-partner and you re-marry, the payments will stop.