5. What is “nominal maintenance”? Should I apply for such maintenance from my spouse in divorce proceedings?
In circumstances where a wife is not in need of any maintenance at the time of divorce but wishes to retain her rights to apply for the same in future, she can seek a nominal maintenance order. This might perhaps be a payment of HK$1 per annum which in practice is never actually made.
However, such order is subject to the possibility of variation subsequently. Husbands should be aware that by agreeing to pay nominal maintenance, there is a risk that they may find themselves having to pay a higher level of maintenance in the future. From a wife’s point of view, a nominal order will give her a sense of security as her maintenance claim is reserved rather than dismissed.