The circumstances leading to grant of spousal support


spousal supportA break up of marriage is painful and the proceedings of court are prolonged in nature which causes disturbances in people’s life. Many legal issues arise in the proceedings of divorce.  Often it takes a lot of time before the marriage is dissolved. When the divorce proceedings continue for a long time, it becomes difficult for a spouse to maintain his or her life, especially when he or she is not sound financially. In such cases, the law provides what is called spousal support or maintenance. However it can be altered after settlement.

When is spousal support granted?

Spousal support is granted by courts when the court is of the opinion that the applicants requirement is justifiable and if the other party has sufficient means to fulfill those needs.  Temporary spousal support is granted as an interim relief in such cases.

For getting spousal support one has to file a petition before the court. For getting this kind of support one needs to show the expenses which are necessary for one’s livelihood and if possible, the income of the other party. A court generally goes through all details and if it holds that it is justifiable, court grants the support to provide same living standard which the applicant had when the marriage was subsisting.

Can spousal support be altered?

Spousal support can be altered anytime if there are changes in circumstances, like remarriage by a spouse or a change in income. Spousal support can be reduced as well as increased depending upon the circumstances.

Is spousal support granted if the couple is not married legally?

One might have to pay spousal support even if there is no marriage. The court often considers live-in relationships and married couples at par for granting spousal support. A court grants such relief when the couple has lived together for a minimum period of three years.

Is a person entitled to get spousal support in case of re-marriage?

A person can still get spousal support in some cases though she or he marries again. Only due to the reason that she or he is residing with someone else, does not put an end to spousal support. It actually depends upon the circumstances of a case.

Does spousal support attract taxes?

In few countries like Canada, spousal support payments can be deducted from the income provided there is an agreement or court order directing someone to pay spousal support. If a person receives spousal support, she or he is liable to pay taxes on it.

Does the support come to an end if the payee becomes self-sufficient?

There is no date on which spousal support on break up of marriage is reviewed. No Judge can predict the future. In such a case, the person paying spousal support has to bring a motion along with documents to support the financial circumstances of the payee to prove that the circumstances of spousal support have changed considerably.