Spouse Maintenance: Answers to key questions

  1. In the event of a separation, is the spouse entitled to maintenance?

If the marital cohabitation is interrupted, the Court may, at the request of either of the spouses, issue a maintenance order for the other spouse to periodically pay a certain amount of money as maintenance to the petitioner. The cessation of cohabitation may occur even if the spouses happen to still live under the same roof.

  1. When will the Court give maintenance to a spouse?

This is possible when it is shown that during the marriage the petitioner was entitled to maintenance because either of lack of income or a lower income than that of the respondent such as to be insufficient to cover the necessary day-to-day living expenses of the petitioner.

  1. When the marriage is dissolved, does the obligation to support the ex-spouse cease?

With the dissolution of the marriage, the obligation to support the ex-spouse does not cease, but this can continue after the divorce. The maintenance after the dissolution of the marriage is a new claim by the petitioner to the Family Court for a maintenance order.

The maintenance of an ex-spouse after the dissolution of the marriage is left to the discretion of the Court, and has a moral aspect to it with the aim in mind of helping out the spouse in need with its award being made on a equitable basis.

  1. Do payments cease to be obligatory or are they otherwise reduced after divorce?

The payments of maintenance can cease to be obligatory or can otherwise be reduced if this is considered necessary due to the currently prevailing circumstances. For example, if the marriage had a short duration or the beneficiary of the maintenance payments is seriously at fault for the dissolution of the marriage or termination of the partnership, or if the beneficiary ex-spouse caused the lack of his or her own resources during the marriage.

  1. When does the spouse's maintenance order cease to apply?

The maintenance order shall cease to apply:

  • when the spouse for whom the maintenance order was issued remarries or when he or she cohabits permanently with another person as partners;
  • In the event of the death of the beneficiary or debtor;
  • If the marriage has been annulled by the Court of Justice.

The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Christiana Panayiotou, Associate, at Telephone: +357 26 930 800 or via email at: Christiana.Panayiotou@kyprianou.com