The concept of ongoing spousal maintenance, normally by an ex-husband to the ex-wife, has not existed as a principle in divorce cases for many years. To the contrary, the Courts actually have to strive to achieve a clean break in financial orders, as much as it is reasonably possible.
Nonetheless, there are sometimes circumstances where it would be completely unfair to cut a wife adrift from all future financial support, if for example she has spent decades, by mutual agreement with the husband, as a mother and housewife and does not have the qualifications or experience in the workplace necessary to get a job.
More changes are afoot, and not to a wife’s advantage. The Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill which is in its final stages in Parliament, proposes a 5 year cap on any spousal maintenance save for exceptional circumstances. This is the handiwork of the crossbench peer Baroness Deech who has long opposed ongoing divorce payments.
Your local family law solicitor would not agree with this proscriptive approach. If you want to know more about these changes, contact a family law specialist to find out.