Family Law AssociationThe Law Society of Scotland
Glasgow 0141 375 1222
2 minutes reading time (392 words)

Separation – Do I Need To Pay My Spouse a Monthly Allowance ?


When a couple in a marriage or civil partnership decide to separate, there are many things to consider and to resolve, particularly in relation to finances. One issue that can arise, which parties are not always aware of, is that of aliment and periodical allowance.

What is aliment?

Aliment is short term financial support for one of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership until all financial and other matters are resolved, at which point longer term decisions regarding the finances and how these will be provided for the parties normally will have been made.

In many cases this is payable until the point of divorce or dissolution and thereafter ceases. An obligation of aliment is owed by each spouse/civil partner to the other. The respective resources of the parties must be taken into account, and appropriate vouching provided for these resources and income and outgoings. When considering whether it is appropriate for one party to receive aliment, or whether the other party ought to be paying aliment, regards must be given to the needs and resources of the parties, the earning capacities of the parties and all other circumstances of the particular case.

What is periodical allowance?

Periodical allowance is a regular income payable to one party by the other following divorce or dissolution. This can be payable for any time frame and will be dependent upon the specific circumstances of the separating parties, though is normally for a restricted period. This will not be payable in all cases. It must be justified having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the future burdens of childcare, adjustment to loss of support after divorce and serious financial hardship as a result of divorce

These matters are not straightforward and we would suggest that those separating consult a solicitor quickly to consider and fully understand their possible obligations in respect of aliment and periodical allowance. The longer parties are separated without resolving financial matters, the more difficult it can become.

If you are separating or have separated, and would like further information and advice regarding the issue of aliment or periodical allowance why not come along to our free divorce clinic on 29 August 2019? Our friendly team of family solicitors will be on hand to provide advice – call 0141 375 1222 to reserve your free 20 minute consultation.

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