What Qualifies for Spousal Maintenance?
Everyone’s marriage is different and the Court will consider if you need maintenance based on your unique circumstances. Some things the Judge might take into consideration include:
- How much each of you earn
- Both your and your partner’s contributions to the marriage
- Prenuptual agreements
- Your mental and physical health
- If there are children involved - although it’s important to remember that spousal maintenance is very different from child maintenance
Our team of Family Law Solicitors are experts at handling divorce cases whether there are children involved or if things just between you and your former partner. We can advise you on what you’ll be entitled to from your marriage, so you can prepare for your future whether your former partner is supporting you or not.
How Long will Spousal Maintenance be Paid?
Normally when the Court puts a Spousal Maintenance Order in place, it will have a clause saying how long the maintenance should be paid for. Spousal maintenance generally stops needing to be paid when one of the following happens:
- The person receiving maintenance remarries
- The person receiving maintenance dies
- The youngest child of the family turns 18
- Further Order of the Court
If circumstances change and you don’t need spousal maintenance anymore, then you or your former partner could request a variation on your Spousal Maintenance Order.
If your partner remarries, they will still be responsible for paying your maintenance.
It’s important to know that lifetime maintenance payments are rare and the Court generally puts maintenance in place for a fixed period of time to allow for the person receiving maintenance to become self-sufficient.
The Court could leave open the possibility for you to apply to extend the terms of the maintenance payments, for example if you can’t find employment to support yourself. Or the Court will close off that possibility by stating that you can’t apply to extend the term at the time of your divorce.
Is Spousal Maintenance Taxable?
Spousal maintenance will be paid out of your partner’s already taxed income and you won’t be taxed on any maintenance you receive.