Spousal Support after Divorce


Basic concept of spousal support:

At the time of dissolution of a marriage the spouse having more income often pays money to the other one having lower income to provide financial support to the other. This is regarded as “spousal support”.

Sometimes it is also given in case of separation of common–law couples when they have been staying together for a considerable period of time.

When the question of spousal support comes into play:

Spousal support is not given automatically. Due to the mere fact that one spouse is financially weaker than the other does not mean he or she is automatically entitled to spousal support. Spousal support can be given by virtue of an agreement made outside the court.

Basis of granting spousal support:

Spousal support is a complicated issue and depends upon various factors. If someone does not agree with the spousal support given to him or her, he or she has the liberty to move before the court of law. A court has to keep in mind many factors before granting spousal support, such as:

A judge has to give priority to the children for granting both child and spousal support as both the parents as obliged to support their children.

The reasons for dissolution of the marriage are not to be considered while granting spousal support. The court generally takes into consideration the necessities of both the parties and capacity to pay.

  1. Financial condition of both spouses.
  2. Duration of marriage.
  3. Status of both the spouses.
  4. Number and age of children born out of the wedlock.
  5. Whether there is any existing agreement for spousal support executed by and between the parties.
  6. Role of the support in the life of each of the spouses.
  7. Balance of convenience and inconveniences in awarding spousal support.
  8. Requirements of the spouses.
  9. Other obligations of the spouse who is supposed to pay.
  10. Capacity of a spouse to pay.

The net income of a spouse is calculated and that figure is used by the court to determine the amount of spousal support.

Remedy available to a wife when the husband refuses to pay:

When a husband refuses to pay for spousal support, a wife has the right to move before a court of law for enforcing her right of support. A court will grant spousal support after giving the husband to show his reasons for not providing the support.

When spousal support is not granted:

However spousal support is not granted when the spouse asking for it is found to be having more income than the other one or his or her requirements are not enough.

Alteration of spousal support:

A spousal support can be altered in case of change in the circumstances of either of the spouses. But all the factors are to be kept in mind.