We are often asked by clients??what kind of financial support is available to me post-divorce/post-separation/post-civil partnership??
Husbands and wives/civil partners have a legal duty to aliment one another during marriage or whilst in a civil partnership.? This means that they have to financially support one another.? This duty continues in the form of aliment after separation until divorced or the civil partnership is dissolved.? After divorce/dissolution there may also be a duty to pay a periodical allowance for a period up to 3 years after the divorce or dissolution is granted by the Court.
Aliment normally arises in situations where one party has been the main earner and therefore supported the other during the marriage/civil partnership.? This support can be fundamentally important where the parties decide to live separately after separation and one party will struggle to cope with the financial burden. If agreed or granted by the Court it is usually paid in monthly installments.? There is no formula for working out how much aliment is due to be paid.? It depends on what is reasonable in the circumstances and is therefore specific to each case. To determine what is reasonable the following will be considered:
- The parties? needs and resources;
- The parties? earning capacities; and
- All the circumstances of the case.
The duty to aliment your spouse/ civil partnership will end on divorce or at an earlier time if mutually agreed.
Periodical allowance is very similar to aliment.? It is far less common to be awarded a periodical allowance.? The party seeking it will need to show that the financial settlement reached upon separation still leaves them in a situation where after divorce/ dissolution they are still struggling to adjust to the loss of support previously given.?? There are a number of factors to be considered when determining if a periodical allowance is payable and this will wholly depend on the parties? circumstances.? These factors go way beyond those considered for aliment.? Any award of a periodical allowance will end three years after the date of divorce/ dissolution.
It is important to note that the duties placed upon spouses/ civil partners do not extend to cohabiting couples and there are no legal rights to obtain aliment or periodical allowance.
If you?d like further advice on what financial support is available following a divorce or separation, get in touch.