Spousal support is something often used when it comes to couples going through a divorce. It is typically court-ordered and not widely understood.
In order to understand how spousal support works, it is important to understand the different types of spousal support.
What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a payment from one spouse to another after they have separated or divorced. This type of support can be awarded by a court or agreed upon by the couple outside of court.
In order for spousal support to be ordered by a court, there must first be a divorce or legal separation petition filed. Once this has been filed, the court will then look at a number of factors to determine if spousal support should be ordered and how much should be paid.
Factors the Court Considers
The main factor the court looks at is each spouse’s ability to pay support. The court will also look at the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, each spouse’s age and health, each spouse’s employment history and earning potential, and any child custody arrangements.
Once the court has looked at all of these factors, they will then decide if spousal support should be ordered and how much should be paid.
If the couple agrees to spousal support outside of court, they will need to put this agreement in writing and submit it to the court. The court will then review the agreement and decide if it is fair and reasonable. If the court decides it is fair and reasonable, they will approve the agreement and it will become a court order.
Types of Spousal Support
There are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.
Temporary spousal support is paid during the divorce process. This type of support is usually only ordered if one spouse needs financial assistance while the divorce is pending. The amount of temporary spousal support is typically based on each spouse’s income and expenses.
Permanent spousal support is paid after the divorce is final. This type of support is typically ordered if the marriage was a long-term marriage or if one spouse does not have the ability to become self-sufficient. The amount of permanent spousal support is typically based on each spouse’s income and expenses, but can also be based on the standard of living during the marriage.
How Is Spousal Support Paid?
Spousal support is typically paid in one of two ways: through wage withholding or by making periodic payments.
Wage withholding means that the spouse who is ordered to pay support has the support amount deducted from their paycheck and sent to the other spouse. This is the most common way for spousal support to be paid.
Periodic payments are made by the spouse who is ordered to pay support directly to the other spouse. The payments can be made weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any other schedule that is agreed upon by the couple.
If the spouse who is ordered to pay support does not make the payments, they can be held in contempt of court. This means they can be fined or even sent to jail.
Find the Right Lawyer for You
Spousal support can be a complex issue. If you are going through a divorce or legal separation, it is important to speak with an experienced family law lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and options when it comes to spousal support.