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Spouse Maintenance – How Much And How Long?

Author : AmeliaWarner
Publish Date : 2021-05-24 19:20:43
Spouse Maintenance – How Much And How Long?

One of the primary issues in family law during the divorce procedure is how you will share assets and finances. You are, of course, be worried about how you're going to support yourself after the divorce is finalized, especially if you have children to take care of. You may also have been out of work to take family responsibility, leaving you without income to take care of yourself. For others, the uncertainty of how long financial ties between spouses after divorce and how important these responsibilities are can be alarming.

What is Spousal Maintenance, and when does it arise?

Spousal maintenance is payments made by either a wife or husband when a divorce occurs. Spouse maintenance is usually done monthly, either for a specific period referred to as "term order" or an open-ended basis known as "joint lives order."

 The court can order it where necessary where a "clean break" between you and your ex-spouse is impossible. A clean break settlement means the individuals will not have financial ties to each other once the money order is made. This allows you to move forward financially independent of one another. A clean break ensures that all joint properties are sold, and the money obtained is shared among the parties appropriately. You can approach lawyers for family agreements on how to solve the spousal maintenance issues. 

How long will the maintenance last?

The term orders generally last for a specified period, and it varies from couple to couple, depending on their situations. Maintenance may be short-term, for example, until the payee becomes financially stable, for example, where you need to retrain to get employed. If a person has been out of work for a long time to take care of children and other family matters, a court may award extended time maintenance. This is known as "joint lives" maintenance. Joint lives orders are rare and are indefinite until the death of one of the spouses. All spousal maintenance orders usually come to an end when the party receiving payment remarries. 

How much will the payments be?

Deciding the amount of spousal maintenance can be difficult due to a lack of clear guidance and formula. The amount of maintenance varies from one case to the other, and you should seek specialized advice from lawyers for family agreements on the precise amount. Courts will consider all facts regarding the case and come up with a figure to be paid. How much a person receives depends on the couple's unique situations. This includes;

  • How much the payer can afford to pay
  • The amount needed to cater for basic monthly expenses
  • How the payer earns a living. Basic payments and bonuses will be treated differently. In most cases, maintenance will be pegged on basic pay and not bonuses. 
  • How many children you have under your care and their upkeep.

To apply for spousal maintenance, you can apply directly to the court. Alternatively, you can consult your lawyer for additional information about the application and the charges you believe you are eligible for.



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