Who Qualifies for Spousal Support?

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When Is Spousal Support Issued?

Spousal support is generally issued in connection with cases involving divorce or legal separation. Also known as alimony, spousal support is where one spouse pays the other ex-spouse a certain sum of money, usually on a monthly basis. Courts may require this in instances where one party is much more financially stable than the other, and the other party needs assistance in beginning life after the divorce or separation.

Who Qualifies for Spousal Support?

Spousal support is issued on a case-by-case basis, and each case will be different in terms of the spousal support analysis. In most cases, only persons who have been involved in a marriage of a “longer duration” (usually over 5 years) are qualified for spousal support. Also, the court will take into account several factors when making the support determination, including:

Certain factors can disqualify a person from child support, such as a history of abuse or a history of certain charges on one’s criminal record.

Can Spousal Support be Modified?

Spousal support orders that are issued by the court are final and enforceable by law. However, they can sometimes be altered due to unique or special circumstances that become present later on. An example of this is where the spouse receiving support payments begins cohabiting with another partner who begins supporting them financially. Another example is where one party is experiencing extreme hardship. Spousal support can also be terminated for various reasons.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Spousal Support Issues?

Filing for spousal support can require proof in the form of many documents, statements, other items. You may need to hire a qualified divorce lawyer in your area if you need help with a spousal support order. Your attorney can help review the terms to ensure that your needs are covered. Also, your lawyer can assist you in the even that you need to file for a modification of a spousal support order.

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Last Modified: 01-15-2014 11:19 AM PST

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