Spousal alimony

The divorce one of the ex-spouses might need spousal maintenance, because he or she does not have the necessary means to fully support himself/herself and cannot reasonably be expected to gain them.

The amount of the monthly maintenance is determined based on the level of wealth during the marriage, the lack of means by the person in need of maintenance and the level of wealth of the one who is obliged to pay maintenance. Your lawyer will explain to you the way in which this is calculated and the rules and report (Trema report) this is bases upon.

The maximum of the duration of alimony payment depends on the duration of the marriage whether or not children were born from the marriage, and the moment of requesting the marriage.

When the period of maintenance is about to expire, the ex-spouse who is in need of maintenance can ask the court to extent this period. He or she will have to prove that ending the maintenance will have such drastic consequence that it cannot reasonably be expected from that person to accept the current period of maintenance. This request has to be made within three months before the end of the period of maintenance.

The obligation to pay spousal maintenance can end earlier, when the person entitled to the maintenance can fully support her- or himself, when she gets married of starts living together with a partner as if they were married or as if they had a registered partnership. It can also end earlier when the person obliged to pay the maintenance, dies of no longer has the means to pay the maintenance (and cannot be expected to gain the means necessary to pay the maintenance).

The amount of maintenance can be changed by the court. It doesn’t matter if the amount was established by a court decision of by an agreement between the ex-spouses. You can ask the court to alter the amount, when there is a serious change in circumstances since then of if the court’s decision was based of incorrect or incomplete information of if the agreement made between the parties was made with a gross failure to recognize the legal standards.

When the spousal maintenance is arranged in the agreement and not decided by the court, parties can agree on a no-change clause. This means that it can nog be changed even if there is a change in circumstances. This does not apply when there is such a drastic change of circumstances that the ex-spouse who is requesting a change cannot by any criteria of reasonableness and fairness remain bound to that no-change clause.