In the event that you are separated from your spouse, you may be curious as to whether or not you are entitled to financial support. In some cases, the answer to that question may be yes. The odds of getting support are higher for those who have children, but anyone may be entitled to payments from the other spouse depending on the facts in the case.
Parents Are Always Responsible for Their Children
Under no circumstances is a parent free from his or her obligation to raise that child. This means providing emotional as well as financial support until that child is 18 or otherwise emancipated. Therefore, a parent who is the primary caregiver of a son or daughter during a separation can and should ask for child support payments.
The amount of these payments will be based on your income, the other parent’s income and other factors that the court deems relevant. It may also be possible for the parents to come to an agreement on their own, which may provide both parties with the flexibility to raise their child as they see fit.
Do You Need Funds to Maintain Your Lifestyle?
As with a divorce, an individual may be entitled to the same type of lifestyle during a separation as he or she enjoyed during a marriage. In some cases, support may be granted for a limited amount of time to allow you to find a job or to complete your education. If you have been married to the same person for many years and withdrew from the workforce to help raise a child, you may be entitled to compensation for your efforts during a separation. Spousal support may also be granted to those who have been married for 10 years or more or for those who may have special needs.
An Individual May Support a Partner Voluntarily
It is possible that the spouse or partner who made the most money will voluntarily agree to support the other partner or spouse during the separation period. This may be codified through a prenuptial agreement or any agreement created before or during the separation. If such an agreement is put into writing and signed by both parties, it may be considered legally binding in court.
What If My Circumstances Change?
Typically, you are no longer entitled to any type of financial support if you find a job, receive an inheritance or find someone new to support you. For example, if you find a new boyfriend or girlfriend who provides you with housing or pays your bills, your current spouse or partner may no longer be responsible for making support payments. If your former partner or spouse’s financial situation changes for the worse, the amount of support that he or she owes may also be reduced to reflect that new reality.
If you are thinking about separating from your significant other, you may want to talk to an attorney first. Doing so may make it easier to determine if you are entitled to financial support and make it easier to take steps to actually get that support for yourself and your children if you have any.