Where do i stand in getting some sort of maintenance for myself from my husband. We had been together for 23 years but married for 19 years. Up until 10 years ago i had been in full-time employment but gave it up to have our last child and haven't worked since. There were times i was employed when he couldn't get a job but now i am forced to live on benefits while he is in full time employment and laughing all the way to the bank.
Spousal maintenance is the term for the regular payments that a court can order in situations like yours.
You were partners in the marriage and english family law states that you should have a fair share of the 'fruits of the marriage'.
Those fruits include the marital assets but also your combined earning capacity. If because of the way you divided your responsibilities during the marriage (one bread winner, one homemaker) you are left with a situation that one party can earn much more than the other then the courts look to even this unfairness out by ordering the higher earner to pay the other party monthly spousal maintenance for either a fixed or an indefinite term.
If a few years re-training would enable you to become self sufficient then you may get SM for a few years. If you have no real hope of ever earning enough to be self sufficient then SM might continue for longer, possibly for life.