Legal Magazine

Paying and Receiving Alimony After a Divorce in Brazil

Posted on the 16 September 2014 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is an important tool for assisting a divorced party with meeting their financial obligations after a divorce. Because they are entering a significantly different lifestyle after the marriage ends, spousal support is often the key to a smooth transition and ongoing maintenance of the new lifestyle.

In the Brazilian legal system, all decisions regarding alimony are governed by the Civil Code. Even though the parties can privately agree to alimony terms, only a judge’s order is mandatory and enforceable.

Categories of Alimony

There are three categories of alimony in Brazil. The type of alimony that is deemed appropriate depends upon the specific circumstances of each divorce.

Temporary Support

A judge can grant a request for temporary alimony to be paid during the divorce proceedings. This type of support can be helpful when a party finds themselves suddenly without resources and needs immediate financial assistance.

Rehabilitative Support

A judge may award rehabilitative alimony to allow a party to seek additional education or career training so that they can support themselves financially after the divorce.

Permanent Support

Permanent alimony is an ongoing payment of a specific amount in periodic payments. If either party’s circumstances change over time, they can request adjustments to the payment order.

Situational Factors That Impact Alimony

The judge takes many factors into consideration before deciding on the amount and type of alimony to be awarded. Every case is handled on its own specific circumstances. Factors may include:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The quality of the relationship;
  • The health of the parties;
  • The age of the parties;
  • The financial situation of the parties;
  • The investments in, and contributions to, the marriage made by the parties;
  • Behavioral factors that may include adultery or abuse.

International Alimony Issues

With regards to international alimony obligations, Brazil is a party to the New York Convention and the Inter-American Convention. This means that foreign spousal support obligations are enforceable in Brazil.

However, before Brazil will enforce an alimony obligation, the foreign decision must go through an exequatur proceeding in the Superior Court of Justice. During this process, which can take as long as 12 months, Brazil will not enforce the original support obligation. Yet a party can initiate a separate request that Brazil make a provisional order for payments to be made until the original obligation is enforceable.

It’s important to seek experienced legal advice regarding matters of divorce and alimony in Brazil.

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