If you have never been through a divorce, you may be, understandably, bewildered by the spousal maintenance phase of your split. Are you guaranteed to receive maintenance? Maybe you have to pay it to your soon-to-be-ex-spouse? 

To clear up your confusion, see what Forbes has to say on the matter. Arm yourself with the proper knowledge to keep anxiety and mounting confusion at bay. 

Maintenance amount 

Several factors go into determining how much support you either pay or receive: 

  • Physical health and age of both spouses 
  • Recipient spouse’s overall financial need 
  • Former lifestyle while married 
  • Paying spouse’s ability to pay maintenance 
  • Length of the union  

Additionally, children that a married couple shares factor into determining spousal maintenance. 

Special considerations  

Know that the spousal maintenance amount is not final. Modification could become necessary in the future, due to a job loss, raise or the recipient spouse remarrying. Non-modifiable maintenance could be an option on the table to account for future disruptions. Besides the recipient spouse remarrying, a second circumstance that terminates spousal maintenance is the death of either spouse. 

Additional methods  

Even when you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse learn about the spousal maintenance amount, there is no guarantee of either receiving or paying that amount every month. Annuity contracts, disability insurance and life insurance policies are common methods of ensuring the recipient spouse gets his or her money each month, despite the payor becoming disabled or dying. 

Accurate and recent information regarding spousal maintenance becomes instrumental in helping you during this specific stage of the divorce process. Talk with a legal professional about how to take proper care of your financial health as you head into a new phase of life.