Spousal support is a financial payment made from one spouse to another after a divorce, however there is no formula for determining how much a spouse may receive. It is determined based on the former couple’s specific circumstances.
Spousal support is awarded to ensure that both parties are taken care of financially after the divorce. It may be ordered when the property award is not enough to financially support one of the spouses or where one of the spouses would be financially disadvantaged if he or she did not receive the support.
Some former couples are able to come to an agreement about spousal support themselves, including deciding who will pay the support and how much the payment will be. If they cannot agree, however, the court will decide and there are several factors it may consider when awarding support.
Spousal support factors
The judge will review the length of the marriage. Usually, the longer the former spouses were married, the more likely the judge may be to award spousal support. The judge may also award support where one spouse cannot work or needs financial support while he or she completes their education or learns job skills.
The court may also weigh how much the paying spouse earns with the other spouse’s ability to financially support him or herself. In addition, the court may review each party’s earning potential and career outlook.
Also, if the paying spouse is responsible for supporting other people, that may affect how much the judge will award in spousal support. These factors, as well as many others the court can consider, do not have to be weighed equally. The judge decides what is fair and reasonable to each party.
An experienced family law attorney can answer questions about spousal support and provide representation.