There is no set formula for calculating maintenance. When parties separate, the court can make orders in respect or child maintenance and spousal maintenance. Child maintenance is a sum of money that is paid every week or month to the spouse with primary care and control of the children. It is calculated based on the financial circumstances of the parties which includes the needs of the children and what the other party can afford to pay. Spousal maintenance is a sum of money paid either on a weekly or monthly basis from one spouse to the other spouse. Similarly, spouses and civil partners can have an obligation to support the other depending on their financial resources of the parties for example in circumstances where there is a large disparity in incomes.