When you married, you thought it would be forever. No one ties the knot in hopes of seeking a divorce later on. But the relationship has broken down. There is no denying the fact that neither one of you is happy in the marriage. Divorce is the only solution. Staying with the person you thought would be your partner for life is no longer tenable. Difficult times lie ahead. The strain of the divorce will seem overwhelming at times. However, you are not in a position to be overwhelmed. You must be strong if you are to get through the process without losing everything you have built over the years.
Retaining legal counsel must be your first act. Your soon to be ex will no doubt be looking after their interests. You need someone of equal expertise, energy, and determination to look after yours. The struggle has already begun. The very moment divorce papers are files you need to start planning for the future and securing what is rightfully yours. This includes maintenance and support.
The term maintenance is now used in place of alimony, but they are both the same and refer to the range of spousal support laws that you will need to invoke and employ in order to prevent a sudden and substantial reduction in your material circumstances.
Marriage is, among other things, the merging of material assets. The two of you set off on a new life together in which money, assets, and other resources were fused and your living standards shared. Spousal support laws were created to ensure that the primary breadwinner of the family—that is, the person who makes the most money—is not able to simply leave their spouse without means to live decently.
As soon as the divorce papers go through, you will need to file a temporary maintenance order. The ruling will go in your favor. Since 2010 judges have no discretion in this matter. It is automatic, and it entitles you to 30% of the income of a high earning and 20% of a low earning spouse.
Your next big fight on this front will come near the conclusion of the divorce proceeding. At some point you will need to file for permanent maintenance. Judges have wide discretion on how to rule on this particular motion and consider a range of factors in determining whether to grant it and what it shall be. Everything from the length of time you were married to your ability to support yourself will be considered.
Your former spouse will have attorneys on their side. They will do everything in their power to deny you spousal support, make it non-permanent, or keep it to a level that will make it difficult for you to live. You must get and stay ahead of them. The amount of money you are to receive on an ongoing basis after the divorce is usually decided in a separate hearing. If your ex is reasonable, they may want to settle the matter out of court. If they are not so generous, then the matter will need to be adjudicated.
Either way, it is best for you to work with a lawyer who specializes in maintenance and spousal support. Such a lawyer will know the legal code and case law and will be able to apply both of them to your case in an effective way. Your immediate future rests on the outcome of this particular decision. You cannot take chances. You must prevail by getting a judgment that is in your favor. Working with the right lawyer will help you secure the justice you seek.