Application for Maintenance Pending Suit

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Following the filing of a petition for divorce, nullity, or judicial separation either party can apply for an interim maintenance order known as maintenance pending suit. The procedure with examples of the application are explained fully in this guide.

Maintenance Pending Suit Orders.

Following the filing of a petition for divorce, nullity or judicial separation either party can apply for an interim maintenance order known as maintenance pending suit. The order can be backdated to the date of the petition and will come to an end on the pronouncement of decree absolute.

As the maintenance pending suit order will be for a limited period full investigation of the parties’ resources and financial needs will not be undertaken. That may come later when final orders are sought. The test is just what the other spouse can afford to pay given their own requirements and liabilities. The judge will have a very wide discretion. “…as wide and unfettered discretion as can be imagined” in the time-honoured words of one High Court Judge. 

Applications for maintenance pending suit are made by way of the prescribed application Form A. If the application pre-dates exchange of Forms E, you must file with the application a draft order and a ‘…short sworn statement explaining why the order is necessary and giving the necessary information about your means’. If the Respondent has not filed Form E, he ‘must’ file a sworn statement referring to this at least 7 days before the hearing. 

The Rules require that the court must list the maintenance pending suit hearing not less than 14 days after the application. Applications are generally listed for half an hour. This may be insufficient to deal with all issues especially as it can be usual for the hearing to incorporate other matters such as the First Appointment.

Contents

Maintenance Pending Suit Orders. 1

The availability of an Order 2

Making the Application. 3
Form A. 3
Court fees 3

Statement where Form E has been filed 3

Statement where Form E has NOT been filed 5

Form A 9