What does a divorce maintenance order look like?

A few people have contacted me and asked: “What does a maintenance order look like?”   This is a very good question.  I was just about to post a few pointers on the variation of a maintenance order  (what lawyers call, periodical payments) when this question stopped me in my tracks.  I should not have presumed that everybody coming across my posts would already be paying, or receiving income from, a maintenance order.

So, here below, is a really simple one. The Upper Egyptian Court has awarded a periodical payments order to Cleopatra in her divorce from Caesar.  Caesar is the Applicant and Cleopatra is the Respondent. There are no children so Cleopatra will only be receiving spousal maintenance.

The Applicant shall pay periodical payments to the Respondent.

Payments shall be at the rate of 1200 gold coins per annum payable monthly in advance.

Payments shall commence on 1st July 500 BC with the payment of 100 gold coins.

They shall end on:

a) the death of either of the Applicant or the Respondent; or

b) the Respondent’s remarriage; or

c) the Respondent’s cohabitation with another man for a period in excess of six months, or periods when aggregated together, in excess of six months

d) a further order terminating payments.

This is the very simple periodical payments order obtained by Cleopatra’s lawyers. Crafty old Caesar, who suspected that Cleopatra was going to shack up with Mark Anthony as soon as the ink was dry on the divorce papyrus, has negotiated a termination of the payments after six months’ cohabitation.

Periodical payments orders can be much more complicated than the example given above but this example has all the classic elements of the orders approved in most county courts.


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