What You Need To Know About Spousal Support

As you work toward the resolution of divorce proceedings, you will have many questions. One aspect you may wonder about is spousal support, also known as alimony. Will you have to pay it? Will payments affect your child support costs? 

This post gives you the basics you must know about spousal support.

New Name, Old Concept

If you choose to use "alimony," your divorce attorney will know what you mean. However, most legal professionals now refer to payments a divorcee makes to his or her ex-spouse as "spousal support."

The concept of this practice hasn't changed though. Spousal support is required in cases where divorce could leave one of the marriage parties at a significant economic disadvantage.

Pay Your Way

Depending on which state you were married in and which state you currently live in, you may have several different options for making support payments, including:

  • A single lump sum payment: In an amicable divorce, you and your ex-spouse may come to an amount agreement for your one-time payment, otherwise the court may decide for you.
  • Long-term or permanent payments: In this arrangement, you make regular payments for a set number of years or for the foreseeable future. These payments may cease if one of the parties passes away or if the recipient remarries.
  • Rehabilitative payments: If your ex-spouse does not have the skills or employment to support themselves, rehabilitative payments allow him or her to pursue education and a new job. These spousal support payments occur over the course of a pre-determined time period, and may be reviewed and extended or ended once the time is up.

Prioritized Payments

In divorce proceedings involving couple with children, spousal support is not the main priority. Instead, the divorcing parties, legal representatives, and court focus on child support. 

To make spousal support as fair and efficient as possible, a number of factors determine whether or not a party requires compensation and whether or not the other party can provide it. The following may affect this decision:

  • Each party's ability to provide for his or herself and any children of which he or she has custody.
  • The age and overall health of both parties, and how a divorcee's physical, mental, and emotional condition could affect employment. 
  • The length of the marriage.
  • Your married standard of living and how each party's standard of living may change after the divorce.

To better understand how spousal support works in your case, consult with a local attorney, such as one from Eschbacher Law.

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