Spousal support is a common term used after a divorce or separation. However, even though this term is quite popular, some still have many questions about it because there are a few things they don’t understand. In this article, we discuss the most asked questions about spousal support. So without wasting more time, let’s delve into them.
What Is Spousal Support?
Spousal support or alimony is the amount of money that a spouse may be entitled to from the other spouse after a divorce. When a couple has been married for a significant amount of time, and both parties have unequal earning power, the family court will consider their case. A judge will also determine whether a spouse has a greater financial need and whether the other partner can pay alimony. Alimony is paid to one spouse after a divorce to bring that spouse’s financial situation closer to that of the other spouse.
On the other hand, it is essential to be aware that receiving spousal support is not given nor mandated in every divorce proceeding. A court may decide to give temporary spousal support in certain instances while the divorce proceeding is still ongoing. After a divorce, one spouse may be required to provide payments to the other in the form of alimony. Kid support, on the other hand, is quite different from spousal support as it refers to the payments given to a child in a marriage under the age of 18 and dependent on the marriage for their necessary day-to-day requirements, such as healthcare, education, and housing.
How Does the Court Determine the Amount of Spousal Support?
The judge will take into consideration all of the elements that are important to your case. According to the law, the elements include the following:
- The former partners’ ages, physical conditions, emotional states, and financial situations are considered.
- The amount of time that will need to pass before the recipient can become self-sufficient through education or training
- The couple’s lifestyle during their time together as husband and wife
- The number of years spent married
- The ability of the spouse who makes the payments to assist the other partner while also providing for themselves
How Much Spousal Support Would I Be Able to Receive?
There is no predetermined sum that must be paid as alimony. The two most important factors to consider are the amount of money each spouse brings in and how they can adequately support the alimony payment and the child support obligation. In general, family courts consider the following:
- The couple’s respective regular incomes each month
- Reasonable expenses on a day-to-day basis
- Whether or not an alimony award would still be sufficient to maintain the quality of living established during a marriage.
Suppose there is not enough money to make it possible for the parties to reestablish something close to theirstandard of living when married, as is frequently the case. In that case, a judge will find ways to make the parties share the financial burdens equally. This is because it is common for there not to be enough money to make it possible for the parties to reestablish something close to theirmarital standard of living
Is Spousal Support Permanent or a Lifetime?
Suppose the court has awarded “Lifetime” or “Permanent” spousal support. In that case, this indicates that the support must be provided to the receiving spouse until the death of the spouse who is responsible for paying it. Although this is sometimes the case, it is not always the case. Sometimes it is ordered to be paid until the receiving spouse remarries. Even if the receiving spouse later gets remarried, the court may decide they are still obligated to pay spousal support even if they have a new spouse.
Spousal assistance that is “permanent” or “lifetime” is being awarded less frequently, if at all, due to the growing participation of women in the workforce.
How Do I Request Spousal Support?
The processes that must be followed to request spousal support will vary from state to state or country to country. In most cases, you can initiate a petition in family court by submitting the required legal documentation. There is a possibility that the representative of the family law court in your county will be able to assist you with the paperwork. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement for spousal support, the judge will determine whether you are eligible for this type of financial assistance. The judge will take into account a variety of considerations and examine each one individually.
What If My Spousal Support Isn’t Paid?
When one of the parties to a divorce does not comply with an order from the court, the other spouse may be required to approach the court to enforce the order. This is accomplished through legal procedures for contempt of court. The spouse receiving the support may present information to the court indicating that their other partner is not complying with the court order. He or she can gather bank statements that reveal payments have not been paid. In addition, they need to demonstrate that either only a portion of the payments was made or that the payments were not made on schedule. If one spouse is in contempt of court, the judge in some states is authorized to order that the other spouse serve time in jail.
Can an Attorney Help Me with Spousal Support?
Suppose you have been ordered to pay alimony or to receive payments as part of a divorce settlement. In that case, you may run into complications about the amount of alimony to be paid and the timing of those payments. Because the laws in each state or country differ, it is essential to investigate the position that your own state takes on the matter of alimony.
You should look for an expert local family law attorney in your state or country to guide you through deciding a fair and just alimony support figuration. The attorney must specialize in family law.