Spousal support, also known as alimony, is money that one spouse pays to the other spouse after they have decided to divorce.
The court will consider several items when it decides whether to award spousal support, including the length of the marriage, whether the paying spouse can afford the payments and the amount of money the recipient spouse needs to maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage.
Spousal support factors
It will also likely review the income of each party, their earning capacity, and their ages, physical, mental and emotional conditions. Their levels of education and work experience may also be considered to determine their ability to earn income.
The court will also review the assets and liabilities of each party, the contributions each party made to the other spouse’s education or training and time or expenses that would be necessary for the party seeking alimony to receive additional education or training in order to seek employment.
If the divorcing parties have minor children, the court may consider whether it is appropriate to expect for the primary caretaker to seek outside employment. If one or both parties receive retirement benefits, the court may also review that as it relates to the amount of spousal support awarded. The court can also review any other factors it finds relevant.
Spousal support payments can either be temporary or permanent. If the court awards temporary support, it is usually during the time it takes to complete the divorce. If it awards permanent support, it will be paid for a period of time the court finds reasonable.
An experienced attorney can answer questions about spousal support and provide representation.