Am I Entitled to Financial Support?
The court may order the husband to pay maintenance to his wife either during or after the granting of a judgment of divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage. There is no need to file for a divorce before applying for spousal maintenance.
An ill or incapacitated husband or ex-husband can apply for maintenance if he is:
- Incapacitated by a physical or mental disability, before or during the course of marriage
- Unable to earn a living as a result of the disability
- Unable to support himself
How will the Court Award maintenance?
The court has broad discretion to decide on the amount of maintenance to be paid to the wife/ex-wife. Generally, the court will consider:
- The salary and earning capacity of each party in the past, present and future
- The financial needs and obligations of each party in the future
- The standard of living of each party before the marriage broke down
- The age of both parties and the length of their marriage
- Any direct and indirect contributions made by each party to the household
- Any losses suffered by each party as a result of their marriage
How long will the Maintenance Last?
Unless the order for maintenance is expressed to be for any shorter period, or the order is rescinded, Spousal Maintenance will last until –
A) In the case of an unsecured maintenance –
- the death of either spouse or former spouse;
- in the case of maintenance payable to a former wife, her remarriage; or
- in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated former husband, his remarriage; or
B) In the case of secured maintenance –
- in the case of maintenance payable to a wife, her death;
- in the case of maintenance payable to a former wife, her death or her remarriage;
- in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated husband, his death; or
- in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated former husband, his death or his remarriage.
When can I Apply for Increased maintenance?
You may apply for variation of maintenance with the help from a divorce lawyer when there is a material change in circumstances. It is important that the change is a material change. This may be, for example, a severe medical condition, a significant increase or decrease in salary, or an accumulation of new found wealth. Importantly, you cannot rely on a material adverse change which is self-inflicted. An ex-spouse cannot escape his obligation to pay maintenance by purposely reducing his own income or financial health. Similarly, the spouse to whom maintenance is being paid cannot use his or her own lavish spending as a reason to apply for an increased maintenance.