Considering how emotionally draining divorce proceedings can be, it is not surprising that some couples may turn on eh other at the dissolution of their marriage. Resultantly, every step in the divorce process becomes combative rather than collaborative. With this type of mentality, it is unsurprising that some couples may view spousal maintenance a punishment or reward depending on which end of the spectrum they stand. The payee may feel like they are being punished for leaving whereas the receiver may feel like the spousal maintenance is owed to them. What both parties should understand is that this payment is not a penalty. Instead, it is supposed to function as a financial safety net for individuals that may find themselves stranded after breaking up with their partner. With that in mind, below are a couple of the determinants of spousal maintenance.
The court will consider each party's ability to make the payments
The first step in establishing spousal support is determining which partner would be financially capable of making these payments. Thus, the court will carry out a thorough review of each individual's income to figure out who is more economically stable. It should be noted that principal expenses such as insurance as well as taxes are deducted from the salary so that spousal payments do not affect these responsibilities. Nonetheless, other forms of voluntary debt such as credit cards, auto payments and more will not be factored into the determination of who is more fiscally stable.
The court will consider the recipients earning capacity
Although anyone can apply for spousal maintenance, in most cases the recipient of the money tends to have put their career on hold or perhaps had dedicated their time in the marriage in being the stay at home parent. Therefore, they may not have been able to fend for themselves financially. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you have the right to be supported by your former spouse for the rest of your lie. The court will have to determine what the recipient's potential earning capacity is. Thus, if they can go back to work or find a job, the spousal maintenance can be adjusted down the road. Take note that if the court determines that the recipient is capable of supporting their lifestyle post-marriage, the chances are high that spousal support will be denied altogether. Therefore, spousal support is a way of securing your financial future but rather it is a means to ensure that your wellbeing is not compromised.
For more information, contact a local family law solicitor.