When one spouse makes a request for spousal support during the divorce process, the family law court takes a look at a number of factors to make a decision. How the family law court evaluates those factors will determine if the request for spousal support is granted and can also impact the duration of any support award and the amount of the award.
Spousal support factors
Factors examined when evaluating spousal support requests include:
- The income of both spouses;
- The relative earning capabilities of both spouses;
- The ages and physical, mental and emotional conditions of both spouses;
- The retirement benefits, if any, of both of the spouses;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage;
- The appropriateness of asking one of the spouses, who is a caretaker of a minor child, to seek employment outside of the home;
- The time and expenses required for the party seeking spousal support to acquire the education, training or job experience needed to secure appropriate employment;
- The relative assets and liabilities of each of the spouses;
- The contribution of either of the spouses to the education, training or earning abilities of the other spouse;
- Any lost earning potential of either of the spouses that resulted from the spouse’s marital responsibilities;
- The tax consequences of any spousal support award; and
- Any other relevant factor or factor used to determined an equitable outcome.
The importance of spousal support
Spousal support requests are important to know how to resolve. That is why, going into them, it is helpful for divorcing spouses to know under what circumstances they may be granted and how a decision on a spousal support request is reached.