Divorce is a stressful time, and one of your biggest worries probably involves your financial situation. If you are used to living comfortably, you likely want some assurance that you can maintain that standard of living after your divorce.
You may consider asking the court for spousal support, which are payments that your former spouse makes to you. You can request that your ex-spouse make the payments during the divorce process and/or after the divorce is final.
Three main factors
The amount of spousal support depends on three key factors:
- Length of the marriage
- Your spouse’s income
- Your need for the support
Generally, the longer you have been married, the better your chances are of receiving spousal support. However, even if you have a long-term marriage, a court will still examine your spouse’s ability to pay the amount you are asking for, and determine if you need that amount to continue to maintain your standard of living.
You and your spouse can agree on an amount of spousal support. If you cannot agree, you can make arguments based on the factors above and let a judge decide.
Spousal support can change over time
The amount of spousal support may change over time. For example, you can receive a higher amount during your divorce and for a few years after your divorce is final, after which time the amount is reduced.
You may want to receive spousal support for the rest of your life, but courts typically do not award lifetime spousal support anymore. One purpose of spousal support is to allow you to receive payments while becoming financially independent, so you no longer need to rely on your spouse’s income.
Although the process may be financially complex and emotionally difficult, divorce is often the best choice for marriages that are no longer working. You should not have to give up your financial security for deciding to divorce, and spousal support can help you remain financially stable.
Since each divorce case is different, the amount of spousal support you could receive depends on your specific circumstances, as well as the above factors. Family law attorneys with experience handling complex divorce and spousal support cases can assess your situation and advocate for your best interests.