When a married couple splits up, there may be an obligation to pay a partner alimony. This will be the case if one of the spouses earns more than the other or if only one partner generates income. If there are no children, and if the marriage has lasted less than five years, the period for alimony payments is the same as the length of the marriage. If there are children and/or if the marriage has lasted for more than five years, then there is in principle an obligation to pay alimony for 12 years. The level of alimony depends on what the recipient requires (needs) and what the payer can actually pay (affordability). The need is determined by the standard of living that has arisen through the marriage. Affordability is calculated on the basis of standards and calculation models, such as are used by the courts and also called ‘Trema standards’. Generally speaking, the calculation method is felt to be quite complex. We can assist you in working out the correct calculations.
New alimony legislation
There has been a good deal of attention paid recently to the new alimony legislation in the press. A new Alimony Act is going through Parliament. Briefly, this is designed to limit the period of alimony to 5 years. If there are young children, then the duty to pay alimony will end when the youngest of them attains the age of 12. The needs related to the marriage are no longer decisive, but instead of this the loss of earning capacity of the alimony recipient throughout the marriage will be considered. Generally speaking, the new Act will mean that the level of the alimony is lower and the duration will be shorter. Until the Act comes into force, the courts will apply the current legislation, meaning that there is no use in trying to rely on the new legislative proposal.