In most situations, the obligation to pay maintenance is associated with paying for the maintenance of children, or possibly with benefits for other relatives in a difficult life situation. Maintenance after divorce for a spouse is also granted. However, this depends on meeting other conditions than those applicable to “normal” maintenance for relatives. It is important, first of all, whether and which of the spouses was blamed for divorce. Can you ask for alimony after the divorce is final?
What are maintenance?
Child support is a form of marital support that one ex-spouse provides to another after divorce. Maintenance is intended to stop one spouse from suddenly decreasing their quality of life as a result of divorce, such as remaining at home of a mother who has devoted her career to looking after children and now has little resources to support.
During the first divorce, the spouses may not agree to the payment of maintenance, and judges rarely take this into account when making a final divorce decree.
How are maintenance awarded?
If no agreement is reached, the court is able to check the financial situation of each spouse – their ability to pay, earnings and the appropriate need – and then determine for themselves who receives what. In a modern environment in which both men and women often engage in a lifelong career and have more equal pay opportunities, most courts will grant maintenance only on a temporary basis.
However, if you do not apply for or receive maintenance during the initial divorce proceedings and then find that you need additional support, you can reconsider your case. To do this, most jurisdictions require a former spouse in need of new maintenance to show what has changed and resulted in a recovery. If the original divorce arose as a result of an agreement between the parties, it will have quite significant reasons why the court should revoke the contract between former spouses. For example, dismissal may be eligible, but you may not be able to leave your job.
The applicant spouse should show that the maintenance needs to be changed due to new and unforeseen circumstances that arose after the divorce and were not foreseen before the final judgment. If the court determines the maintenance rather than by agreement, the threshold will often be slightly lower, but the evidence to be provided will be the same. Unlike the post-contract amendment, a party will usually not need to show that a change in circumstances was unpredictable at the time of divorce in the event of a maintenance decision.
Child support after divorce is not established once and for all. In the meantime, circumstances may change that were the basis for the award of maintenance. If you change your relationship, you can request a change in the decision or the maintenance agreement. The change of relations may concern both the situation of the person entitled to maintenance (increase or decrease of his justified needs) as well as the person obliged to maintenance (increase or reduction of property or income possibilities).
Finally, it should be mentioned that the maintenance obligation under the above-mentioned principles arises not only in the event of the dissolution of marriage by divorce, but also, modified accordingly, in the event of a separation decision and annulment.