Things That You Should Know About Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance can be a very daunting principle to couples who are separating. We share some common concerns that are raised by our customers, to debunk some of the myths surrounding this topic. And to know how to Calculate Spousal Maintenance in Western Australia, just click the backlinks.

What Is Spousal Upkeep?

Spousal upkeep is a payment made by a partner or partner to the former partner, to supply financial backing each month. Upon separation or starting divorce procedures, the couple will need to think about and reach a contract with what shall occur to their finances. This will involve what needs to happen to the family home, any pensions, and also whether a single person should pay spousal maintenance to the other.

Just How Much Spousal Maintenance Will I Require To Pay?

Spousal maintenance is not computed based on a repaired formula. Rather this ought to be considered bearing in mind the financial ‘need’ the individual has for it, and also the capability of the other person to pay it.

As such, financial information will be needed from both people, to understand what earnings are being gotten, to think about whether all incomes are being maximised (such as through paid employment, benefits, etc) and to compare this against the reasonable outgoings that they are dealing with.

How is spousal support/maintenance determined?

In New York, spousal support/ upkeep is determined by a guideline calculator based upon the income of the two parties and the length of their marriage. The Court is enabled to deviate from the standard amount based on several potential rebuttal factors, however, such discrepancies are rare.

Note that the parties are enabled to take particular deductions from their earnings for numerous qualifying tax costs such as state and city income tax and FICA taxes.

The amount is the lower of the two outcomes in between

1) 30% of payor’s earnings approximately and including earnings cap (currently $184,000) minus 20% of payee’s earnings

2) Payor’s income approximately and consisting of earnings cap (currently $184,000) plus payee’s earnings equates to total earnings than do 40% of combined income and deduct the payee’s earnings from that

How Can I Stop Paying Spousal Maintenance?

If the recipient remarries or either the payer or recipient passes away, maintenance ends automatically.

The paying party can apply to the court for the maintenance to be reduced or given an end if there has been an adverse modification in their financial scenarios or an improvement in their financial scenarios of the recipient.

When considering whether maintenance can be ended the court will think about whether the recipient of the upkeep can change without excessive challenge to the end of upkeep.

What Takes Place If I Lose My Job And Can’t Pay The Spousal Upkeep?

In these situations, the payer of the maintenance must encourage their previous spouse to reach an arrangement.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to apply to the court for a suspension of the upkeep order whilst the payer stays out of work.

On the occasion that alternative work is discovered with lower or higher reimbursement, it might be that either party may then apply to the court for a variation of the existing order.

What Is A Tidy Break Order?

A tidy break order is where no spousal upkeep is paid. A tidy break is less likely if there are minor children but each case will depend upon its realities.

If there are small children, the Court might purchase a small upkeep order in favour of one partner rather than a clean break order. In reality, the payment is not made but the claims for spousal maintenance remain open.

On a variation application, the Court is under a task to consider whether there can be a capitalisation of upkeep and tidy break where the paying spouse pays a lump sum to the receiving party rather than continuous maintenance. The paying spouse’s monetary commitment to pay spousal maintenance is then dismissed.


A maintenance order can be varied at any stage based upon scenarios. It is important to think carefully about other methods of fulfilling your needs and achieving a fair settlement following a separation.

If you can’t currently afford your legal charges, you might be entitled to declare them from your spouse, depending upon their level of income.

Keep in mind that an application may be made to vary this if you are the one who is paying upkeep. At this point, the Court will reevaluate whether a tidy break is possible taking into account your properties as well as your earnings.


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