How Does Alimony or Spousal Support Work?

When you get divorced, there are a lot of things to work out, including your finances. In some divorce cases, one spouse will receive alimony, or spousal support. You might begin to wonder if you’ll be the spouse paying support or receiving support. The spouse who has the greater financial need is typically the individual who receives support, while the spouse who has more financial stability might be the one who pays alimony. There are some questions the court will generally ask when making the determination.

How Long Were You Married?

If you and your current spouse were only married a short period of time, you both have less of a chance at receiving alimony. If you have been married for a long time and one of you depended on the other for financial stability, the dependent spouse might have a higher chance of receiving support.

Are You Employed?

Perhaps you were both employed when you got married, but after ten years you had three kids at home and chose to be a stay-at-home parent. Your spouse might have to pay alimony for a period of time until you are able to get a job again. He or she might also have to pay alimony until the children are raised.

How Much Money Do You Earn?

If you are both employed, alimony might come down to how much you earn. If you make the majority of the household income, and your spouse’s job only contributes 10%, there’s a high likelihood you’d be required to pay alimony, as 10% of a household income isn’t going to support anyone.

Why Are You Not Employed?

If you or your spouse is not employed, the court will take a look at the reasons why. If there’s a legitimate reason for being unemployed, the court might rule more in favor of the unemployed individual. For example, one spouse might be physically unable to work due to a recent injury, and require the financial assistance of the other spouse. Perhaps due to age, the one spouse is unable to work, so the other spouse would be ordered to pay alimony.

What Limitations Prevent Self-Support?

If your spouse is unable to support him or herself because of certain limitations, you might be ordered to pay alimony. For example, your spouse might have just been given custody of very young children. Perhaps he or she is currently in school. Maybe he or she suffers from a mental disability that prevents the ability to get proper employment.

Contacting Your Lawyer

If you’re getting divorced, things can get stressful. Contact a lawyer, like a family lawyer from Scroggins Law Group, today to learn more about alimony and who might be at the receiving end when your divorce is final.

Close Menu