It is often the first point in the drawn-out end of the marriage when the former partners can begin can begin to think about the future, putting the hurt and acrimony behind them.
When drawing up a financial settlement following divorce, the courts will take a long hard look at each spouse’s future earning capacity and may set this against their needs for financial support – ie maintenance – both before and after retirement.
For example, can you go out to work if you haven’t worked for the last 10 years? Can you work if there are young children to look after?
If so, what will your position be and how much will you earn? Each case is considered strictly on its own merits.
A judge may decide that one person cannot reasonably be expected to work but require a mother with children work, even if only part time.
The courts reserve the right to extend the period during which maintenance must be paid – or not, as the case may be.