A divorce or legal separation comes with different challenges. In addition, divorce is more complicated if one spouse is heavily reliant on the other for financial support. Fortunately, legal actions can be taken to ensure the financially unstable partner receives financial support from the other partner until they become financially independent.
Filing for spousal maintenance is one legal step to ensure you remain financially stable even after a divorce. However, this strategy will only succeed if you work with trustworthy law firms like ALA Law. Spousal maintenance will ensure you survive without financial challenges until the timeline is over.
This article will provide information on spousal maintenance and when you might need it. Read along to learn more.
What Is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is the funds paid by an individual to their ex-spouse. These funds are aimed to support the ‘less fortunate’ party financially. Spousal maintenance is different from child support.
It’s vital to note that a fixed formula doesn’t determine spousal maintenance. Instead, the amount of maintenance is based on the receiver’s financial needs and the payer’s ability to afford financial support. Therefore, the financial state of both parties is required to determine if the sum in question is justifiable and affordable by the payer.
Moreover, spousal maintenance is paid for a particular period. The payer can be requested to pay a particular amount monthly to enable the receiver to live comfortably. As far as the spousal maintenance timeline is concerned, it automatically ends once the receiver or the payer dies.
The payment can also end once the agreed period has ended or the receiver has become financially stable or remarries. While spousal maintenance can be paid for an extended period, most courts champion financial independence. Nevertheless, court orders on spousal maintenance for a long time are becoming less every day.
After the spousal maintenance has ended, a clean break is immediately enforced to prevent a particular party from making financial claims against the other partner while alive or upon death.
Is Spousal Maintenance Paid Alongside Child Support?
As earlier said, spousal maintenance is different from child support. Child support or maintenance is governed and overseen by the Child Support Agency. Child support includes regular payments aimed to support a child of a separated couple which is paid by the parent who’s not living with the child.
On the other hand, spousal maintenance is paid to an ex-partner in addition to other payments ordered by the court. When you’re required to pay for child and spousal maintenance, it’s important to consult professional lawyers so that financial settlements can be reached based on your financial state.
When Do You Need Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is aimed at supporting a financially unstable ex-partner. You can apply for it if you’re getting a divorce and are worried that you won’t be able to support yourself financially.
On the other hand, giving up your career to care for your family can leave you vulnerable financially. Hence, it would help if you had financial support when developing skills to make you financially stable after divorce.
Meanwhile, spousal maintenance decisions vary from state to state. Some states rule against it and impose a clean separation. However, some states adhere to the spousal maintenance principle if there are no sufficient assets to be divided among the ex-partners.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to understand that the spousal maintenance principle can’t apply if you’ve been in a relationship for less than two years. However, if you’ve been in a relationship for longer than two years, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance.
Additionally, if an ex-partner can’t work for the rest of their life, they might need and be granted spousal maintenance for the rest of their life.
Can Spousal Maintenance Be Paid Once?
Some individuals can pay the spousal maintenance once instead of monthly. The maintenance funds are summed up and paid once in such a case. Most individuals who prefer paying a lump sum are those looking forward to a clean separation.
However, this move can be complicated and risky since you might be required to pay a considerable amount of money and later suffer a financial blow. In that case, you may lose property or a job, leading to bankruptcy.
On the other hand, you can consider paying a lump sum in installments to avoid hurting yourself financially. You can pay half the amount soon after the court order and the other half after a while. If you decide on the lump sum way, seek advice from a reputable family law solicitor.
Spousal maintenance is the funds paid to a financially unstable ex-partner following legal separation or divorce. If you’ve just divorced and are afraid that you might encounter financial challenges but can pull through with the help of your ex-partner, it might be a good idea to research if you’re eligible for such payment and act accordingly.