Spousal maintenance remains a controversial topic. This separates the couples who find the subject to be very frustrating. According to a family law lawyer in Austin, comes after a divorce or a separation where one party pays the former partner a certain determined amount so the ex-spouse
can support themselves.
Unfortunately, arriving at a mutually agreeable spousal maintenance agreement is tricky. Couples should examine several issues. The common questions asked are is; who is entitled to it? Who pays it? The amount to be paid whether fair and the duration of payments. Money and financial interests can turn an amicable discussion into quarrels. Spousal maintenance gets determined and decided by family courts.
Considerations when determining a spousal maintenance
Who determines support?
In some countries, spousal maintenance is dished out when penalizing an individual who demonstrates a neglect of duty. It is also a punishment for those who do not receive any pay or regard for the one getting paid. It is used instead as a temporary safety net for individuals who are incapable of supporting themselves once their marriage is terminated.
Despite the circumstances, the courts proceed with a lot of caution when determining spousal maintenance. The exercise should be issued with a lot of fairness and equality. The court considers several financial facts and examines the financial situation of the spouse. Briefly described are key factors that help the courts arrive at a decision.
Ability to pay
The courts review the level of income for each partner and determines whether either of them can pay for maintenance. Insurance expenses and taxes are then deducted from this income. Voluntary debts such as credit card bills, car payments, and other factors are also taken into consideration.
Level of income and earning capacity
The court will then look at the financial status of the recipient and their ability to remain employed. In most cases, spouses suspend their career plans to concentrate on their families and homes. The courts realize that the spouses need a period of retraining before going back to the labor force. If the court determines that they are good enough to take care of themselves, they will be denied any maintenance.
After the court calculates your potential earnings, they then calculate how much your spouse needs for their expenses. The expenses can be shelter, food, utilities, child care, etc. If the payees’ expenses exceed the income it becomes impossible for them to support a certain living standard. The courts will then be forced to determine who needs to supplement the other.
Once the courts examine all the financial considerations, they look for a reasonable amount to support them monthly. This is also determined after a long period where support has to be maintained. In several cases, the obligation remains for two years wherein the payee is expected to support themselves.
An agreement between the two spouses is helpful when settling the separation terms for those in a marriage or a de-facto relationship. With the right family lawyer, you can get the right agreement that both can live with.