In a family law setting, spousal support may be issued in certain divorce or separation cases. Normally, spousal support may be required when one party is more financially stable than the other. Also, a support award may be more forthcoming where one party has contributed in certain ways to the relationship, such as acting as a homemaker, providing career/educational advancements, or contributing property during the relationship.
Spousal support is also known as alimony. Of course, state laws will vary regarding spousal support terms, and each case of spousal support is evaluated separately on an individual basis. Spousal support or alimony is mainly awarded to the spouse who makes less money or is the stay at home spouse and the support is given to the spouse for a specific period of time until the recipient spouse becomes financially stable and more financially secure.
Alimony is based on who earned more money during the marriage and the role of each spouse. Alimony can come in different forms:
Several steps must be taken before you can receive spousal support:
Generally speaking, spousal support is only intended to cover basic provisions that are needed to help the ex-spouse get "started" on their feet again after the divorce/separation. Thus, spousal support is intended for expenses like food, clothing, lodging, and basic travel. It is not intended to cover luxury items such as jewelry or vacation time. If needed, the parties can work out a spousal support agreement beforehand in a prenuptial agreement.
Not all divorces involve spousal support, especially if both spouses have stable incomes and can cover their own basic needs. Only 10-15% of all divorces include spousal support as part of the divorce decree.
Spousal support may end:
Spousal support can sometimes result in legal disputes, especially when it comes to termination of the support. In many cases, a separate proceeding may be needed to resolve disputes over termination of spousal support.
Obtaining or modifying a spousal support order can often involve many different legal principles and concepts. You may need to hire a divorce lawyer if you have any concerns or issues involving spousal support. Specific family laws will vary by state, but a lawyer in your area can help you by providing advice and representing you in a court of law.
Last Modified: 05-24-2017 04:12 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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