Spousal maintenance – what one senior judge thinks

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A speech by Mr Justice Mostyn delivered to the Devon and Somerset Law Society last autumn was published in February. It sets out why spousal maintenance is organised as it is in this country and what Mostyn J believes should happen to it in the future. Touching briefly on Baroness Deech’s Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill 2017-19, which includes a 5-year limit on periodical payments (extendable in the case of hardship), in the context of an equal division of matrimonial property, binding pre-nups and longer support of children, Mostyn J makes it clear that in his view every successful claimant of periodical payments should be aiming for independence. The Bill has not progressed in the Commons this year.