Understanding Spousal Support in Different Countries

Understanding Spousal Support in Different Countries

Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, describes payments made from one spouse to the other after their relationship ends.

The goal is to ensure the spouse with the financial deficit can survive independently until they get back on their feet.

While spousal support is available in many countries, that’s not to say arrangements are all the same. You can learn more about how these financial agreements work in different parts of the world below: 


Whether you talk to HHG family lawyers or lawyers from another law firm, you’ll learn that spousal maintenance is available in Australia. Australia’s Family Law Act is generally used to determine how long spousal maintenance should be provided for and the amount offered.

Generally, factors for calculating these payments can include living standards during the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and their financial needs. Depending on where in Australia you live, you may be eligible for spousal support even if you aren’t married. 

United States

What spousal support or alimony looks like in the United States can depend on the state you live in. These payments are often made after a separation or divorce when one spouse earns more than another. If a divorce goes through the family law court process with a judge determining outcomes, they may set alimony payments based on: 

● Individual earnings and expenses

● Marriage length

● Spouses’ age and health

● Economic and non-economic contributions during marriage 


Spousal support in Canada is similar to that in the United States in that you must pay or receive financial support after a divorce or separation. Monthly payments are common, but some spouses also receive lump-sum payments. Payments are typically provided to: 

● Compensate a spouse for the care of children above child support payments

● Compensate a spouse who sacrificed their earning potential during a marriage

● Ensure financial stability for a spouse post-divorce 

Experts in family law typically refer to Canadian Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines to determine spousal support payments based on entitlements and provincial and territorial laws.


If your marriage breaks up in Mexico, you are known as the maintenance creditor when requesting alimony payments from your spouse, the maintenance debtor. The payments are calculated based on the alimony creditor’s needs and the maintenance debtor’s capacity. 

The guardians or parents of children must document all expenses, such as tuition and food. Alimony payments can be made voluntarily or enforced through a divorce agreement or lawsuit. 

United Kingdom

Spousal support in the UK is known as a maintenance order. It’s typically paid as part of divorce for a set period. In rare situations, spouses may be required to pay spousal support until the death of their ex-spouse or when they get married or enter into a new civil partnership.

Many factors can determine how much is paid and for how long, such as the receiver’s needs, income, and earning ability. Maintenance orders are also not always set in stone. They may be changed if one spouse loses their job or gets a higher-paying job. 

Spousal support is common in many countries, but the requirements can differ. If you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, it can be essential to review your local laws and requirements with the help of a lawyer to know what to expect. 

Leave A Reply