Post-Separation Support: What You Need to Know

  1. Family Law
  2. Post-Separation Support: What You Need to Know

When you and your marital partner decide that your marriage is no longer working and it is time to separate, you may be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You may feel angry, sad, lost, and even stages of grief for losing the life you envisioned for yourself and your family.

It is an extremely difficult time, and as legal proceedings begin to commence, it can be confusing as well. You may be court-ordered to pay post-separation support and a list of other things that you did not see coming. To make this process a little less overwhelming, it is important to understand what these things are, why you are being asked to pay them, and/or why you can ask your previous marital partner to pay them to you.

First and foremost, when it comes to understanding what post-separation support is, it is essential to understand what separation is and when it begins. Separation in a marriage occurs when:

(1) the two parties are living apart, in two different households/addresses; and
(2) there is a cessation of marital rights and responsibilities. A good way to determine whether you and your previous marital partner have separated is to ask if a 3rd party would look at the actions of you and your prior marital partner and think the two of you have separated. If the answer to that is yes, then the two of you are likely separated.

Once you are separated, one party can file for post-separation support from the other. This can be filed as early as the date of separation. Post-separation support is spousal support that is paid until a terminating event or divorce, whichever comes first. In determining how much post-separation support will be rewarded, several aspects of the parties’ lives are analyzed, such as the financial needs of the parties, their accustomed standard of living, earning capacity, present income, and more. Overall, post-separation support focuses primarily on the financial needs of the parties.

As stated earlier, post-separation support payments will cease either upon divorce or a “terminating event.” A “terminating event” is an event other than a divorce that can be a date certain/specified in the order, an alimony determination or dismissal, an entry of divorce if no alimony claim is pending, or any normal terminating events for alimony.

When determining post-separation support, courts must consider any marital misconduct of the dependent spouse, that being the spouse who would be receiving the post-separation support. However, if it is considered, then the misconduct of the supporting spouse, that being the spouse paying the post-separation support, must be considered as well.

After a marital separation, many people may either have post-separation support sought against them, or they are seeking it from their prior marital partner. Some people may not even know they can obtain post-separation support and could be missing out on financial support that they are legally able to obtain. If you are seeking legal advice as to whether you must pay post-separation support, or whether you can make your prior marital partner pay you post-separation support, it is recommended that you consult with a family law attorney. Call King Law today at 888-748-KING (5464) to schedule an appointment.

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