Will Spousal Support Apply In Your Divorce?
At the Law Office of Dawn M. Green, we often hear questions from parties of divorce about whether spousal support, often referred to as alimony, will be a factor in the final divorce settlement. Often, one spouse may need temporary spousal maintenance until the financial ground settles. The other spouse is often worried about being left impoverished from paying support. The questions nearly always come around to, “How much alimony?”
What Is Alimony And How Does The Court Determine It?
Spousal support can be complicated because there are several types of alimony, including:
- Permanent spousal support
- Rehabilitative support for job training or school
- Reorientation support for helping a spouse re-enter the workforce
The court will decide which type is appropriate, if any, to order. Furthermore, unlike with child support, determining alimony is not subject to any specific mathematical formula. Instead, there are several factors considered by the court in determining the appropriate alimony award. Each judge may interpret them differently.
The most prevalent issues are the incomes of the parties involved and the amount of money that each spouse needs to sustain his or her lifestyle, but common factors also include:
- The ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partially self-supporting
- The time required for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to be self-supporting
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family
- The facts and circumstances leading to the dissolution of the marriage
- The age, physical and mental condition of the parties
- The ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the party seeking alimony
- All income and assets, including nonincome producing property
- Any marital property award
The court also maintains discretion and can decide spousal support based on any other factor. An experienced spousal support attorney can help you explore these factors in your own divorce.
The Help You Need When Facing Spousal Support
Whether you think you may be obligated to pay support or you think you deserve to receive some form of support, we can help you understand how the courts look at the alimony questions that arise during a divorce. Attorney Dawn Green offers sound legal advice, responsive communication, and will always stand firmly to protect your rights and your best interests in spousal support matters.