Sample letter to vary periodical payments through RPI

I’ve been asked if there is a standard letter to remind the payer of maintenance that the first (or subsequent) anniversary of a maintenance payment order is imminent and that the payment is to be varied upwards by the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Whilst I’m not aware of a standard letter, I’m happy to offer the following template that can be adjusted as thought fit.  This is written directly to the ex-spouse as, in most cases, the whole point of an automatic uplift by reference to the RPI is that people should be able to operate it themselves instead of going back to lawyers.

It is a good idea to have a diary reminder to write to your ex one month before the maintenance is due to be varied so there is time to agree the amount and have it set up.  I am presuming that most people will be emailing rather than sending a traditional letter.  In an effort to be helpful I have used the same assumptions for the amount of maintenance and the time periods as in my worked example for ease of reference and comparison.

Dear Ex,

I thought it would be a good idea to just remind you that my spousal maintenance payments are due to be varied on 25th November 2011.  (I have a copy of the court order if you do not have yours to hand).

I am presently receiving £112.00 a month from you.  The new maintenance amount needs to be calculated correctly and we will both want to be satisfied it is right.  

I understand that to carry out the calculation we need the RPI figure for August 2010 and that was stated in the court order to be 224.5.  We also need the RPI figure for August 2011 which is 240.0.   To obtain this I looked at data on the RPI kept by the Office of National Statistics.  I have included the link so you can check for yourself or you could contact them by email on  

The calculation is as follows: 

    • The figure of £112.00 is multiplied by the RPI figure for August 2011.  £112.00 x 240.0 is £26,880.  If we then take the sum of £26,880.0 and divide it by the RPI for August 2010 (which is 224.5) the result is £120.00 (rounded up).
    • So, while you are presently paying £112.00 per month, the payments will need to increase to £120.00 commencing with the payment in November 2011.  
I would be grateful if you could acknowledge this email and confirm that you agree with my calculations and that the standing order will be amended in time for the November 2011 payment.
Good luck with this.  There is no reason why the same template letter/email could not be used to vary child periodical payments as the mechanism and the calculation is the same.

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  1. Angeli Thallon’s avatar

    I wonder if you can help. My ex did not vary his payments as agreed and neither of us picked up on this. How many years can I claim retrospectively?



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