Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is one of the most pertinent issues during a divorce case. Typically, it is awarded to a dependant spouse who cannot meet his or her needs after the divorce. Read this article to learn more about spousal maintenance.
What Is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance may be a pre-determined figure. It is especially so if the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement had a clause awarding one party a specific amount of money in case of a divorce. Couples can also decide this figure during property settlement negotiations.
However, if they opt to go to court, the judge will conduct a thorough analysis to determine whether or not to award alimony. The dependent spouse must prove that he or she cannot afford to meet basic needs after the divorce. If the judge thinks you deserve alimony, he or she will consider the following:
When Is It Awarded?
In Australia, spousal maintenance is awarded until a time when the dependant spouse can meet his or her needs. It may be paid in a lump sum if the dependant spouse requires to cater for immediate needs (such as renting a property or starting a business). Spousal maintenance can be rehabilitative. Simply put, the dependant spouse will use the money to acquire skills to enable him or her secure employment. If the spouse cannot work (due to disability, age or illness), the judge will award lifetime spousal maintenance.
Spousal maintenance cannot be paid to partners who get married or are in a de-facto relationship. The court assumes that your new partner will cater to your needs. There are instances when a person receiving spousal maintenance can ask the court to increase the initial payments. He or she should provide compelling reasons such as a sudden change in the economy or personal reasons such as illness. The judge will examine the finances of the former partner before making a decision.
Ask a family law attorney about calculating alimony. Further, he or she will argue out your case in court to ensure you receive maximum pay-outs.