Spousal support (or alimony) is far from a thing of the past. To help you obtain and keep this valuable form of support, it helps to know what is available, what you might be entitled to, and how to keep it that support going. Read on to learn more
Showing a Need for Support
It is not unreasonable to ask that one spouse who is financially able to provide some help to a needing spouse should be ordered to do so. If the spouse disagrees with the need, the judge will make the decision based on several aspects of the marriage and the financial situation of both parties. Requests for spousal support will include reasons for asking and will request a certain sum. The judge will review the request and hand down an order based on the following aspects:
1. The current financial situation of both spouses. The judge will review the income and the assets (that may be liquefied) of both parties.
2. If the needing party is not employed, the judge will be interested in knowing why. Being employed is not a requirement or a bar to being awarded support, but it is a consideration. In some cases, the unemployed spouse has physical (illness or age) or mental limitations. In other cases, the spouse is employed but not making a livable wage.
3. Income, education, and employment is evaluated. Spouses who gave up their education to put their spouses through college is a common situation. Rehabilitative support provides the needing spouse with financial help while they obtain more job training or an education with an eye towards being financially independent. This type of support ends upon the successful completion of a certain milestone, such as graduating from college or getting hired at a job with a livable wage.
4. The child custody plan and the ages of the children will also affect the judge's decision. If the needing spouse is awarded physical custody, the judge may order spousal support for that parent – depending on the ages of the children.
Keeping the Spousal Support Going
In some cases, the support expires on a certain date or occasion. In other cases, the providing spouse petitions the court for a reduction or elimination of the support for various reasons. To help increase the odds of retaining the support you need, follow these tips.
- Stay single – Remarrying usually puts an immediate stop to support payments.
- Be wary about cohabitation – Your spouse (and a judge) might object that your relationship situation provides you with the same financial security status as a marriage would.
- Be aware that a substantial change income might affect your payments, be it through employment or winning the lottery.
Speak with a company like The VK Law Firm to learn more about spousal support.