For many, the period of time immediately following separation is not only difficult emotionally but also financially. The day-to-day living costs continue but often income is reduced or worse still, you relied on your partner’s income during the relationship and that has now gone.
It is not uncommon in a relationship to have one primary income earner while the other partner has a small income or no income at all. If you cannot adequately meet your reasonable financial needs, it is possible to seek financial support from your ex-partner.
When considering the payment of spousal maintenance, the Court will need to determine that one party has the financial need to be supported and the other has the ability to pay.
There are a number of considerations made by the Court when making a decision. These include:
- your age;
- the amount of property and financial resources shared between you and your former partner;
- your ability to work, now and in the future;
- what is a suitable standard of living;
- if the relationship has affected your ability to earn an income.
Reasonable weekly needs may vary depending on your circumstances. These include expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, car loan payments, groceries, petrol and car expenses, insurance, medical costs, telephone, internet, children’s entertainment expenses, household maintenance, electricity, gas and water.
It’s important when you consider what you want your former partner to pay that the costs listed must be ‘needs’ not ‘desires’.
The Court will also take into account the living arrangements for your children who are under 18 years of age.
The length of time that spousal maintenance is paid will also vary depending on your circumstances. Often it may only be for a short period of time until either a property settlement has been agreed on or until you have the chance to find work.
As with any property settlement, the Court imposes time limits within which you can apply for spousal maintenance. Do not delay in calling our office to discuss spousal maintenance and to have Nik Koolik apply it to your circumstances.