Family Lore Clinic: Are maintenance payments index-linked?

OK, the question was actually whether maintenance payments pursuant to consent orders are index-linked, but it is actually irrelevant whether the maintenance order was made by consent or not.

The answer is quite simple: maintenance payments are not index-linked, unless the maintenance order says that they are. Obviously, therefore, if you want the payments to be index-linked then you should ask the court to order that they should be, or make it a stipulation of any negotiation with the other party.

The way in which index-linked maintenance payments actually work will be specified by the order. They are usually linked to the Retail Prices Index, and automatically change on the same date each year, in line with the change in the index.

If the maintenance is not index-linked, then the only way to get it changed is to apply to the court for it to be varied, or to agree a variation with the other party.

(As always, if you require more details or specific advice, you should consult a specialist family lawyer.)