spousal maintenance

How is Spousal Maintenance Determined?

If you are planning to end your marriage, one of the top issues on your mind may be spousal maintenance. If you earn more than your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you may be ordered to pay and, if you earn less, you may be awarded spousal maintenance. Either way, this is clearly an important matter for both parties. Continue reading to learn more about how it is determined.

Spousal Maintenance and Divorce

When determining spousal maintenance, a judge will examine several important factors, which will largely focus on the standard of living you had during your marriage.

Below are some of the factors used to determine spousal maintenance:

Financial Concerns

Most importantly, a court will consider the direct financial impact of a spousal support ruling. It doesn’t want to overburden the paying spouse, but it also can’t leave the receiving spouse destitute.

The court will consider each spouse’s current holdings. This includes income and separate assets. The court will divide the marital assets among the spouses, and it will look at who has more property afterward. These are examples of someone’s overall financial security, and it will impact how much the payor must give to the receiver.

The court must also consider each spouse’s potential earnings. It must factor in earning potential of each spouse. At best, spousal support should help someone gain independence. Self-sufficiency, however, may be impossible. The receiving spouse may be elderly or in poor health, making it harder for them to secure work. Even if they are young and healthy, they may have been out of the workforce for a long time. This is often the case with stay-at-home parents. This also affects their earning potential, meaning they may need a greater amount of support.

The same principle applies to the paying spouse. If they find it hard to secure work or move upward in their career, the court may give them a lower payment.

Other financial concerns include:

  • Whether either party has a dependent
  • Healthcare costs and health insurance needs
  • Tax consequences of spousal support for each person

Relationship Concerns

Sometimes, the simple length of the marriage affects spousal support. If the couple was together for many years, the court may believe that the receiving spouse deserves more support for a longer amount of time.

Child custody can intermingle with spousal support, too. Support can be affected by whichever spouse receives primary child custody. If the paying spouse keeps the kids, they may pay less. If the receiving spouse has primary custody, they may receive more.

Evidence of Abuse

If the court believes one spouse suffered abuse, it may ask the other to pay more in child support. In this way, a family court acts almost like a civil court. It compensates the injured party financially.

Wasteful dissipation can also affect support rulings. This is a spiteful practice where one spouse intentionally wastes money, hoping to leave the other with little to divide in the divorce. If either spouse is guilty of wasteful dissipation, they could be ordered to pay more or receive less, depending on who is guilty.

An experienced divorce attorney will help you navigate your case, so you can work toward the best possible resolution.

Discuss the Details of Your Divorce with a Skilled Family Law Attorney Today!

If you are filing for divorce, now is the time to speak to an experienced family law attorney about your case. At the Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C., a divorce attorney is committed to guiding clients through every step of the process and will fight tirelessly on your behalf to secure the most favorable results for your situation.

Reach out to our law office today at (516) 514-3868 to request an initial case evaluation with our knowledgeable divorce attorney to learn more about your legal options and what we can do to assist you during this emotionally challenging time.