The How, Why and How Much of Spousal Support – Get Me a Divorce

Get Me a Divorce

The How, Why and How Much of Spousal Support

Breaking off a marriage, no matter how long or short is an emotionally distressing matter. However, sooner rather than later the cold, more practical aspects of the process need to be given attention. The biggest of them being the financial considerations of the separation. If you’re considering a divorce from your spouse, it’s safe to assume that you have questions and doubts regarding the financial settlement. The foremost thing to keep in mind is that the law gives you the right to claim alimony.

Simply put, there are two aspects to monetary considerations – spousal support and child support. In the eyes of the legal system, spousal support or alimony is awarded to ensure that the aggrieved party is able to sustain a comparable standard of living post the divorce. When considering your options, keep the word “sustain” in mind; the amount you should expect to receive every month is not going to be extraordinary (in relations to the financial position of your spouse). Child support is given to the spouse who has the custody of the offspring/s in order to care for the child, this amount is usually separate from the alimony.

Who pays whom?

Both the husband and wife have a right to claim alimony, unless you’ve been married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 in that case only the wife is entitled to the claim. In cases decided under the Indian marriage laws, both men and women have claimed and received money from their spouse, though the number of women is obviously much higher.

So how much are you going to receive?

There are a number of factors that go into this calculation and unlike the west, there is no fixed formula for this. In the scenario that both the spouses are earning, and there is a substantial difference between the incomes, the spouse with the lower income will be awarded a median amount to maintain a standard of living. In a situation where only one spouse is working (In India, it is usually the wife), the alimony is a percentage (usually greater than 25%) of the husbands annual income. This includes not just salary, but also income from savings and property. The calculation does take into consideration other aspects of financial earnings such as additional family liabilities, loans and income tax.

Also, the amount is fixed  in relation to the income being earned at the time of the divorce, if your husband/wife starts earning more (salary or inheritance) post your divorce you are not entitled to a higher alimony.

What else should you know?

You have legal options if your spouse stops sending you alimony. There are serious legal repercussions to not paying the spousal or child support as ordered by the court. Courts have been known to impose fines and penalties on parties that have skipped on payment. On the other hand, your spouse (husband or wife) is only responsible to pay you alimony till the time you remarry. Though even after you remarry, they are still legally required to pay you the child support as mandated at the time of your divorce.

Money is a contentious issue no matter what the situation, the case of divorces it becomes an even larger one. In many cases financial settlements are used as bargaining chips to secure a favourable outcome for either of the parties. Often people prefer making a one time financial settlement for a mutual consent divorce to ease things and simplify the future. We at know that it is not easy to talk about money. Thats why we connect our members with mediators who have experience and can give you unbiased, practical advice to help you sort out matters. If you have questions or concerns about your future, talk to us; mediators and advisors are here to help you start a new life on your own terms.

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