Spousal Maintenance: How is it Paid?

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Alimony written on an envelope with dollarsSpousal maintenance, sometimes referred to as alimony, is monetary support paid by a spouse after divorce — especially when the other spouse can’t support themselves sufficiently. When the court has determined the amount, the spouse could pay it either on a periodic or a lump sum basis.

Spousal Maintenance Payments

Court orders containing spousal maintenance payment would detail how, where, and when payments must be made. Periodic spousal maintenance payments are often paid in regular instalments — weekly or monthly depending on the agreement.

For instance, in cases when the wife earns ample income and the husband hasn’t worked or earns significantly less, the court could order the wife to continue supporting their husband. She needs to pay a specific amount every month or week so that he could enjoy the ‘standard of living’ he’s used to. In cases like these, the payments come from the paying spouse’s income.

Some paying spouses intentionally put themselves in financial circumstances in which they don’t earn any income, warns Connolly Suthers and other top solicitors in Townsville. This won’t lift the paying spouse’s responsibility to pay alimony. The court could order the paying spouses to make lump sum payments instead, using available assets.

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As part of property division and settlement, the court could order that a specific percentage of the paying spouse’s assets be designated as lump sum spousal maintenance payment.

What You Should Remember

It’s immensely crucial to note that no one is automatically entitled to receive spousal maintenance. In most cases, it’s only payable if the receiving spouse isn’t capable of reasonably supporting themselves and the paying spouse could reasonably pay the maintenance. 

If you think you might need spousal maintenance, you have to apply for it. Speak to an experienced lawyer to help determine the best course of action for you.