3 Things To Know About Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is a term used in divorce to represent money paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce takes place. This term is not the same thing as child support, but it instead is designed to help one spouse keep a similar lifestyle after the divorce as he or she had prior to the divorce. If you are getting divorced and want to find out more about spousal maintenance, here are three things you might want to know.

The purpose of spousal maintenance

As stated, spousal support is a payment one spouse must make to the other if the court approves it in a divorce case, and its main purpose is to help one spouse keep the same lifestyle after a divorce as before. In most cases, spousal maintenance is something a spouse must pay on a monthly basis, and it generally is temporary. In other words, it does not typically last forever.

The factors that determine if you are eligible for it

Qualifying for spousal maintenance is not always possible, but it can be in certain cases. For example, if you were a stay-at-home parent and never worked during the marriage, you might qualify for spousal support if you want to have time to go back to school to earn a degree you can use to get a good job. Another example is if you married a wealthy spouse and need time to make arrangements for where you will live and how you will support yourself after the divorce. Additionally, spouses will often qualify for spousal maintenance if they are incapacitated in some way and unable to work. For example, if you paralyzed or have some type of major illness that will never go away, you might qualify for support.

The length of time it lasts

While there are situations where spousal maintenance is permanent, in most cases it is only designed to help for a certain amount of time, such as three years or five years. It is also important to know that your spousal maintenance would automatically end if certain things occur. For example, if you get remarried a few years after your divorce, the spousal maintenance will likely end when your new marriage takes place.

If you are planning on getting divorced and want to request spousal maintenance from your spouse, you will need to talk to a divorce lawyer to find out if you are eligible for it. Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed, but it is a possibility in some cases. Contact a law firm like McKone & Unruh to learn more.