Universal Credit is a means of assessed benefit to assist with living costs. It is gradually being introduced throughout the UK to replace other benefits such as tax credits, income support and housing benefit.

The calculation for how much Universal Credit any individual should receive is based on a number of factors such as age, living situation and income. In contrast to how previous benefit systems have worked, universal credit also takes into account any spousal maintenance that an individual receives and includes this as contributing to their overall income. This is a factor to consider when negotiating a financial settlement within a divorce, as in some cases, receiving spousal maintenance may not be economical if it causes the sum of universal credit received each month to diminish. In instances such as these, it may be beneficial for the individual in question to receive a greater share of the capital upon divorce, rather than ongoing spousal maintenance.

Whilst spousal maintenance is included in a universal credit calculation, child maintenance is considered separate.

If you require advice surrounding the law on marriage, divorce, cohabitation, separation and/or children please contact Ellisons Family Team on 01206 764477 or 01255 851000.