If you are facing a financial crisis after a divorce, spousal support or alimony can be considered.
What is Spousal Support / Alimony?
Spousal support, or alimony, is awarded by the court as soon as the married couple gets a divorce. It is only given to one of the former partners based on a decision by the court or an agreement between the spouses.
It provides a continuing income to a lower wage-earning or no wage-earning spouse in order to prevent himself or herself from dealing with financial troubles. Courts grant spousal support to promote fairness among spouses. Spousal support is not guaranteed and is only awarded when certain requirements are met.
Types of Spousal Support
There are basically three types of spousal support or alimony, specifically:
- Short-term: a marriage that lasts fewer than 7 years.
- Moderate-term; a marriage that lasts 7 or more years, but fewer than 17 years.
- Long-term: a marriage that lasts 17 years or more.
How is Spousal Support Determined?
There are designated factors that the court heavily considers on determining whether you are eligible for spousal support or not. These include:
- Length Of The Marriage
When it comes to determining both the amount and duration of alimony, states mostly consider the length of the marriage. Courts seek whether the marriage was long-term or short-term. Spousal support is not generally awarded for a lifetime or for short term marriages. Simply putting it, the longer your marriage was, the longer span of time you will receive spousal support.
- Age And Health
If you have a medical condition that needs significant medical treatment or affects your capacity to work, alimony can be granted on your side. However, only for a limited time, for instance, a duration of one to ten years depending on your personal circumstances. But, if you are of an age in which it is irrational to return to your existing work, or you have ongoing medical treatment or condition that prevents you from getting a job, a permanent spousal support can be granted to you by the court.
- Education Level
The court can also consider awarding alimony if there’s a difference between the couple’s level of education. Assuming your former partner has a professional degree that allows him or her to earn more while you do not have such future earning capacity or a degree, a court can order that your former partner pay you alimony.
- Employment History
Whether you have been underemployed or unemployed in order to be stay-at-home parent, the court may grant you spousal support. The award can be constrained to what the court believes necessary to increase your education level or enable you to re-enter the work full-time.
A spouse seeking for alimony will generally have to show his or her expenses to the court. Make sure to consider your personal care expensed and groceries when gathering your bills. Your income is another essential factor.
- Standard Of Living
After the divorce, the court wants each spouse to live a life they deserve. But in case your financial situation is posed to drastically change as a result of the separation the court takes this under consideration when you seek spousal support.
- Other Factors
There are also other factors that the court looks for before allowing you to receive spousal support. These include child custody, tax consequences, and marital misconduct.
How Long Do You Need to Pay?
It merely depends. However, the basic idea is that alimony can be completed if there is no longer need for support. Usually, the support will stop when the receiving spouse remarried or dies.
Lump sum spousal support: is a type of alimony that pays the spouse all at once.
Periodic spousal support: is paid over time, either in yearly or monthly payments.