Acting on behalf on a husband, defending an application for maintenance pending suit that had been made by the wife. The husband was earning just over £55,000, with the wife working part-time bringing in £18,000.
The husband had agreed to continue meeting the mortgage payments and utility bills, despite having moved out of the family home into rental accommodation. The husband was paying to the wife around £1,800 per month to meet the household outgoings, as well asmeeting his rent and his own utilities at £800 per month.
Because the husband had just shy of £700 surplus income, the wife claimed that she was entitled to some of these remaining funds, but did not take into account that the £700 remaining was required to buy food, and other such expenses. She did not understand that the £2,600 the husband was paying out each month simply covered essential needs, nor did she appreciate that her own income of £18,000 was entirely at her own disposal.
The application for maintenance pending suit was successfully defended, with an award for costs being made against the wife for abusing the process. Maintenance pending suit is an emergency measure, and if a party is able to meet their essential, everyday needs, then such an application should not be made.