What rights do I have if I divorce and do not work?

What rights do I have if I divorce and do not work?
Published on: 2 April 2024

Table of contents

The break-up of a couple often brings uncertainties and doubts to both parties. But especially for the one who is left in a worse economic situation after the dissolution of the marriage. This is the case, for example, of women who give up their working life in exchange for caring for their partner's children, although there are many others. Therefore, here we would like to explain exactly what rights I have if I get divorced and do not work.

The compensatory pension

This is undoubtedly the most important element that aims to balance the finances of both ex-spouses once the divorce has become effective. Specifically, it is defined as a financial support that the wealthier party in economic terms during the marriage and after the separation grants to the weaker one. Its primary purpose is to cover basic expenses, such as water and electricity bills, food and personal hygiene, etc.

For obvious reasons, this is one of the most important rights of an unemployed separated man or woman. After all, it provides the most disadvantaged spouse with a means of subsistence and is fully compatible with one or more possible maintenance payments for the children.

It should be remembered that, if it is not mutually agreed, it is the disadvantaged spouse who must expressly ask the judge for his or her need to obtain a compensatory pension to balance both spouses' finances after the divorce. The judicial authority may reject it if:

  • Divorce or separation has caused an economic imbalance for both former spouses.
  • Both spouses, after the divorce, have a similar economic level to the one they had while they were married.

Therefore, the fundamental criterion is whether the dissolution of the marriage would lead to an economic imbalance that clearly disadvantages one of the parties. If this is not the case, the judge will automatically deny it.

In determining the amount of the maintenance allowance, aspects such as the age of the disadvantaged spouse, his or her state of health, professional qualifications, employment opportunities, etc. will be taken into account.

In addition, the judge may determine whether it is to be paid for a certain period of time or indefinitely. The first case is the most common. The most common is that the right to receive the compensatory pension is terminated when a job is found.

What happens in a divorce with children where the wife does not work?

Obviously, each case is different and there can be a wide variety of circumstances, such as, for example, that it is the man who takes custody of the children or that the judge decrees a shared custody regime. However, in our country, it is still most common for women to be the ones to take care of the minor children once a divorce or separation has taken place. Moreover, it is also usually the most unprotected party in economic terms.

As mentioned above, alimony is perfectly compatible with maintenance. It should be borne in mind that the latter is intended to cover the expenses generated by the children (school, health, etc.), while the other has the function of covering the basic needs of the most disadvantaged parent.

However, as this is a hypothetical case, which cannot be completely realistic, we recommend that you contact a specialised family lawyer to answer the question of what I am entitled to if I separate from my husband. He or she will be able to advise you in detail throughout the whole process and protect your interests as far as possible.

So if I separate from my partner, what am I entitled to?

This will depend on many factors. The most important of these are whether you will be the custodial parent and your financial situation after the divorce, which will usually be directly linked to the role you played in the marriage while you were still married.

In the "best" case scenario (we use inverted commas since being the financially disadvantaged party in a separation or divorce is never advantageous), he or she will be able to enjoy a compensatory pension to help with basic expenses, child support payments and, in certain situations, the use and enjoyment of the family home.

Ultimately, no separation or divorce is a pleasant time for either spouse. However, there are times when living together is impossible and it is best for each to go their own way. Therefore, when the time comes, it is advisable to know what our rights are and to have the services of a lawyer specialising in family and divorce to protect and defend them.

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