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I can no longer afford to pay the maintenance provisions in my court order after losing my job. What can I do?

A maintenance payment can be varied by either party. One of the parties can apply to vary the order in situations where, for example, the maintenance order is no longer enough or alternatively where the party paying the maintenance order can no longer afford to do so at the level stated in the order. Jobs can be lost and bonuses can be cut in times of economic downturn, making the original maintenance order unmanageable.

The court will look at how likely it is that you will get another job, how quickly this could happen and whether you will earn as much as you did before. Your maintenance payments will be decreased if the court think that you will not get another job quickly and you don’t have a large pot of savings to pay the maintenance out of. It is worth noting that your former partner will then be able to apply to get the maintenance payments increased again if and when you get another job.

Before going to court it is important to attempt to re-negotiate the order with your previous partner’s solicitors. We are experienced in negotiating with the other party’s solicitors in order to avoid lengthy court battles but if an agreement cannot be reached we have the necessary experience and expertise to take your case to court.

If you are in this situation, it is important to seek independent legal advice before doing anything such as stopping payments.

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