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What are periodical payments?

What are periodical payments?

This is a payment made out of income by one spouse to provide for the other and frequently is called maintenance. It is payable by reference to a period and very often is a monthly payment. A spousal maintenance Order can be open-ended or can be limited in duration. If the party receiving the maintenance remarries (or enters into a registered civil partnership for a same sex couple) or dies it automatically ceases. It is an ongoing continuing obligation and therefore there is not a “clean break” (see later) if maintenance payments are being made under an order. It can be varied (either as to the amount payable or the duration of it) in the future if the financial or other circumstances of one or both parties change significantly. On an application for variation the Court has power to fix a lump sum and order the payer to pay it as capitalised maintenance and terminate the periodical payment order. The maintenance payments can be “secured" against an asset of the party making the payments although these types of Orders (thus known as secured periodical payments orders) are rare.

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