Separation and divorce constitute the unfortunate consequences of a marriage where spouses decide to end the matrimonial bond. Generally speaking, in addition to the eventual economic inadequacy of one of the spouses, the right to alimony is established in favour of the spouse which did not cause the separation or divorce. In the context of the amount of spouse maintenance, it is relevant to ask to what extent previous standard of living may influence the procedure and its amount.

Courts usually evaluate spouses’ economic inadequacy together with his/her objective inability to pursue the means to live decently. Based on that, the unemployment status is not enough, the spouse must prove the incapacity of pursuing the means for living. Additionally, such condition should not be due to spouse’s will. In general, the economic inadequacy does not depend on the spouse when:

        – He/she is older than 50 years old;

       –  Poor health condition;

       –  Inability to find a job due to the crisis of the market.

The spouse must prove previous aspects in order to have access not to an annuity, but to a social and welfare contribution. It is also important to discuss the quantification of the amount of alimony. In this case, the following aspects should be taken into consideration:

        – Spouses’ income;

        – Property of movable or immovable assets;

        – Other incomes, investments, stocks, shares;

       –  Availability of dwelling;

       –  Expenses and costs to be sustained by each of the spouses,

       –  Duration of the marriage;

       – The contribution of the spouse to the economic condition of the family.


There is no explicit rules requiring that, in the context of quantification of spouse maintenance, the previous standard of living is an operative parameter. Current legal framework promotes spouse’s personal choices, independence, self-responsibility and economic security.

Previous framework only involves the spouse maintenance in the context of divorce. On the contrary, in the context of separation, spouse maintenance is still linked to old parameters of previous standard of living.

Should you need any assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact VGS Lawyers. At VGS, our professionals have achieved brilliant results in relation to either divorce and separation agreement. Should you need to consult with one of our professionals, please file the form you find in this page.