My wife told me recently that she wants to divorce . I do not feel ready for this emotionally. My wife has worked in a bank for many years, bringing home a very respective salary. I worked as head of sales and marketing but was made redundant because the firm is being liquidated. My wife has told me that she plans to file a maintenance claim against me even though I will stop being eligible for unemployment pay soon. What are my wife’s chances of getting maintenance from me , given our circumstances ? We are both Jewish.By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 16 May, 2022
According to Jewish law which is adopted by civil law a Jewish husband has a maintenance obligation towards his wife.
Traditionally and according to Jewish law, a wife who worked outside the home had to give her salary to her husband. Over the years caselaw gave a more modern interpretation to this and held that a wife could retain her salary rather than handing it over to her husband, as against his maintenance obligation towards her.
If a woman earns a low or modest salary and she can prove in court that her needs exceed it, then she can get supplementary maintenance from her husband to meet the gap. If, however, her salary is high, and her husband is unemployed , then he will almost certainly be exempt from paying her maintenance, and if he does work but earns less than her he will probably have to pay very little maintenance.