Divorce allowances are remittances that are commonly made from one partner to another during (and sometimes after) divorce proceedings. The judiciary takes the responsibility of determining if the higher-earning partner is obligated to handle this cost by considering their capability and the lower-earning partner’s requirements.


The Different Categories of Allowances


The legislation vis-à-vis different maintenances and which category applies to a case varies from state to state. This post will encompass three basic kinds of allowances: short-term, compensation and indefinite. An experienced family law specialist shall be able to address any concerns you may have pertaining to provisions for allowances in your state.


Short-term allowances, as the term suggests, is only remitted during the divorce proceedings. It is meant to assist the lower-earning partner in managing their household’s expenses and other costs. The aid will be discontinued once the divorce is final or the claim for support is renewed.


Compensation allowances are sanctioned in scenarios where the lower-earning or unemployed partner faces challenges in being independent for a while. The judiciary will consider the length of time it would take for that partner to pick up the proficiency and knowledge required to be independent and adjust the termination date to that period’s end.


Long-term allowances are generally awarded to the lower-earning partner of a long-lasting marriage (over a decade). This is because that partner may find it difficult to be independent by virtue of decrepitude or inexperience. They may have failed to retain their adroitness in managing the household over the course of the marriage, or they may not have had the necessary abilities in the first place.


Both partners’ pecuniary stances and earning sources will be considered. The judiciary will try its best to ensure that a comparable standard of living (before and after the divorce) is upheld for the maintenance-receiving partner. This is done by setting the maintenance amount at the required level.


The Process of Setting Allowances


A divorce entails both partners submitting statements related to their resources and liabilities. In cases of short-term allowances, the tribunal shall use these statements as a guide for setting a congruous amount of allowance based on the requirement.


In other cases, the tribunal shall assess the same statements in addition to other pertinent elements, thereby setting a closing sum. The mentioned elements may vary across different cities. Still, some general ones include each partners’ abilities, the degree to which one partner handled the other’s work-related skills during the matrimony, the standard of living, a period of union, and their resources and liabilities.


The Period for Which Allowances Flow


As previously mentioned, short-term allowances are terminated post the divorce finalization (or till another claim for support is passed).


Compensation allowance will continue till the date that will be accentuated in the support clause. As a general rule, this data will allow the recipient enough time to pick up the proficiency and knowledge required to be independent.


Most cities will terminate the higher-earning partner’s responsibility to provide allowance should their ex-partner get remarried or enter into a domestic relationship with another individual. However, some jurisdictions may require that the allowance-providing partner takes the matter to court and have the obligation revoked.


Should you not want to let the legislation influence your case, be sure to stipulate a clause that would activate the termination, such as another marriage.


Are Allowances Amenable?


This will only be possible for scenarios where the divorce contract permits it. Each partner is then entitled to take it to the tribunal and solicit an amendment.


The amendment-seeking partner ought to provide attestations for the material changes in situations that have brought about a need for alteration. To illustrate this, consider a situation where the allowance-receiving partner is not making adequate attempts to be independent.


Imposing Allowances


Many jurisdictions may pass a ‘wage assignment order’ allocating part of the allowance-remitting partner’s earnings to the other partner. This would prevent the former from declining aid suddenly.


If this order is not in place and the paying partner refuses to remit it, the other individual can take the matter to court and solicit a ‘wage assignment’, sanctioning the employer to stop supplying the earnings.


The providing partner may have missed certain remittance deadlines, in which case the sponsored partner may appeal to the court to include those amounts in the ‘earnings assignment’. Some states may add interest to that amount as well.


Should you have any queries vis-à-vis allowances, please consult an accomplished family law solicitor for further assistance.