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Understanding Spousal Support

Spousal Support

Many people fear going through a divorce because they may not have enough money to go through life without panicking about their bills and mortgage. However, it is possible to seek spousal support, otherwise known as alimony. Read through today’s blog post to learn just a little bit more! If you feel as though this is something you may be entitled to, contact Smith Law. We look forward to helping you!

Why Spousal Support?

The point of spousal support and alimony is to help ease the potential economic effects of a divorce. For example, some parents stay at home to care for their children while their spouse has a full-time job that pays for the entire family. In a divorce without spousal support, the stay-at-home parent would be left with no job and no means to pay the mortgage, even if the working partner left the house. Spousal support has been designed to give this other spouse the time and means necessary for them to develop professional skills to support themselves. It can also be used to help the other spouse maintain their standard of living.

How is the Amount Chosen?

Spousal support is different from child support in many ways, including how the court decides the amount. Most states have their own guidelines as to how to award this support, as well as the amount and the duration. The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act dictates that the courts need to consider each of the following before making their ruling:

  • The ability of the paying spouse to support the ex-spouse, as well as themselves
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The couple’s standard of living while they were married
  • The financial condition, emotional state, physical condition, and age of the former spouse
  • How long it would take for the recipient to receive necessary training and education to become self-sufficient

Support Orders

Your potential spousal support award will be challenging to estimate. And, to be quite honest, it’s hard to know whether the paying spouse will abide by the support order without contesting it. As we mentioned before, alimony is not like child support and often isn’t harshly enforced. However, if you are not receiving your spousal support, you can always return to court in a contempt proceeding in order to force them to pay. Spousal support can certainly be awarded through a court order, which means that you can pursue payment through any existing court order process. For more information on this, seek legal counsel.

Spousal Support Payment Length

How long does the paying spouse need to offer spousal support? The point of alimony is to help the other spouse get back on their feet and be able to sustain themselves. This means that payments will likely last for as long as is necessary for the spouse to obtain proper training. If the divorce decree does not include a final support termination date, then the payments will continue until the court dictates otherwise. There are exceptions to this, of course. If the recipient remarries, alimony payments end. In the case of the payer’s death, the recipient spouse may still receive support from the estate if their age or health limits their ability to gain employment.

Spousal Support Trends

In the past, men typically were the primary breadwinners in the home. That’s why most alimony payments were awarded to ex-wives who had to transition from staying home to the workforce. However, more and more couples these days either share the task of breadwinning, or the woman earns the money for the family. Now that the court views women as being more independent, their rulings often reflect this. Men who rely on their spouse for financial support are just as likely to receive spousal support as a woman in the same situation.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer for Assistance

When it comes to handling a divorce in Covington or Cincinnati, we encourage you to call us. The Smith Law is here to help you seek the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out now to learn more about our services and schedule your appointment. Spousal support is attainable, and we are here to guide you as you seek help.

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