Arranging aliment in Scotland

If you’re getting divorced or dissolving your civil partnership, you each have an obligation to support each other financially until it’s finalised. Find out how you can arrange aliment (regular maintenance payments) during this time and what you could get or pay.

Aliment payments

What if you can’t agree how much should be paid, or whether payments will be made at all? Then, the partner who believes they need financial support can apply to the court for what’s called ‘aliment’.

Applying to the courts for aliment

You can apply to the courts for an order for your ex-partner (husband, wife or civil partner) to pay aliment if divorce or dissolution proceedings are underway.

A court will look at whether the person claiming aliment needs the payments, and if the person being asked to pay can afford them.

A solicitor can advise you about whether this type of application is worthwhile.

If you’re not sure about your ex-partner’s financial situation, and they don’t have the money to pay you, you might end up spending money on court and legal fees for no reason.

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What you need to apply to the courts

If you decide to go ahead and apply to the courts, you’ll need to provide a short written statement setting out your financial situation. This should include:

  • your capital
  • any debts you have
  • your earning capacity
  • details of what you need on a day-to-day basis in the short term, and
  • your current income, including your earnings, money received from your ex-partner and any state benefits.

The court decides whether aliment should be awarded – and if so, how much – by looking at all the circumstances of the case.

This includes looking at the overall amount of money available, as well as how much the person being asked to pay aliment could earn. It won’t just look at how much income that person has.

This can be useful if one of you has a low income, but has considerable assets – for example, a profitable business.

Aliment ends when your divorce or dissolution is finalised.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is something you can arrange as soon as you separate.

It’s usually paid to the parent who the child lives with for most or all the time by the other parent.

You don’t need to have finalised your divorce or dissolution to arrange child maintenance.

There are several different ways that you and your ex-partner can agree child maintenance.

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