SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE & SUPPORT
Spousal maintenance is the payment of a regular sum by a husband or wife to their ex-spouse. There are many factors to consider, and many factors that the courts will consider, when determining whether maintenance needs to be paid, as well as the value of the maintenance and how often and for how long it should be paid. What’s more, even though an agreement may initially be reached, situations and personal circumstances can and do change, which means that the amount that a person must pay in spousal maintenance may also change.
Is Spousal Maintenance Required?
Without viewing the exact details of a person’s file, and seeing the financial details and history of both the husband and wife, it is impossible to say whether a divorce will lead to one party having to pay spousal maintenance to the other. Generally, however, if one partner remained at home to raise children and manage the home, while the other went out and advanced their career, then it is likely that the partner with the career will have to pay the other partner some form of maintenance.
The level of maintenance paid will depend on the couple’s financial history, and the courts will usually take into account whether one or the other party sacrificed their own earning potential so that the other could go out and earn a salary for the family.
The courts may demand that a lump sum be paid, or they may require that regular payments be met. The court may also stipulate whether the period over which regular payments are made can be extended at the end of the term or not. A combination of lump sum and regular, ongoing payments, is another option, and the courts can also rule on the division of assets including the family home and even the family car, as well as any other assets such as stocks and shares or pension funds.
Getting Help With Spousal Maintenance Matters
Spousal maintenance may not be required, and it is important that you have suitable legal representation when dealing with this case, otherwise you run the risk of paying too much to your former partner. Alternatively, if you believe a change in personal circumstances means that you should be paying or receiving a different amount, your family law firm can help you to argue the case and apply to the courts for an altered figure.