There is often an issue regarding whether or not one spouse is entitled to another spouse’s post separation increases to income.

Usually spouses negotiate an amount of spousal maintenance on separation that is based on the payor spouse’s income at the date of separation. This may not be the case however if one spouse is entitled to compensatory spousal maintenance.

Compensatory spousal maintenance is based on the notion that one spouse gave up their career opportunities in order to allow the other spouse to pursue their career. In this instance it may be appropriate for both spouses to share in post separation increases in income.

The other type of spousal maintenance is based on the need of one spouse where income at separation is lower than that of the other spouse. Often if this is the basis for spousal maintenance the objective is to maintain the standard of living the spouses enjoyed during the relationship and post separation increases in income are typically not taken into account.

Deborah A. Todd