Once a marriage has ended, a judge may order one spouse to pay the other spouse a monetary sum each month for support. Who pays and what amounts of spousal support are always misunderstood. This is always determined by a judge, taking many different factors into account.
If you have further questions, contact your local Melbourne family lawyers to help you understand this legal part of divorce.
4 Myths and Facts of Spousal Support
- The man always pays
This is not always the case. A judge will use several different income verses expenditure formulas to determine what amount each spouse could comfortable afford to pay. That will help the judge determine who will pay whom spousal support. There are also other considerations besides income and expenditures, but these are the main determining factors.
Nowadays, women are just as likely to receive a large income from their place of employment as opposed to years ago when men were the primary breadwinners. The male always pays myth is also outdated because the husband is also more likely to stay home as the main child caregiver than in years past.
- Loss of income due to Covid
Although Covid has changed the world and taken income from many families, it is not a valid reason to stop paying support to your spouse. Spousal support is a court ordered obligation. As the person that is paying, it is your responsibility to notify the court that you are no longer making the income you did when the order was issued.
There are options that will help someone who has lost their income due to Covid or any other reason. There is a possibility of reducing the support amount, or it could be suspended for a short period of time. Your unemployment compensation will also be taken into account.
It is never okay to stop paying a court ordered support amount, even with the loss of a job. You must keep paying until other arrangements with the court can be made.
- Lifetime spousal support will hurt my future
First, lifetime support to a former spouse is granted on rare occasions, so it is unlikely you will have to pay support for the rest of either of your lives. Factors such as your ex’s education, current income, age, and responsibilities to dependents, are all part of the equation to determine the duration of spousal support payments.
Factors such as the age of any children and if the spouse is going to be remarried are also part of the calculations for how long payments will last.
- Using spousal sport as leverage
It is never an option to use spousal support as leverage against your ex. Even if your former spouse is not cooperation with their portion of the court orders, you must keep up your part of the agreement. You cannot withhold child visitation or any type of access to mutual funds if you are not receiving your monthly support. You will need to contact your attorney if a support payment has been missed.