Should You Request Spousal Support as Part of Your Divorce?

Sometimes, people are reluctant to request spousal support or alimony payments. They might worry that doing so will make them look greedy or lazy. The fact is, if you have made sacrifices so your ex could have a career outside of the home, there’s nothing wrong with requesting spousal support. You should also consider asking for spousal support if you earn significantly less than your ex.

The purpose of spousal support

Spousal support doesn’t exist for gold diggers to strike it rich. It’s there to provide a dependent spouse with the financial support they need to become independent. If you put your career on hold to raise your children, support payments can help you go back to school or to invest in training to help improve your chances in the job market. If you and your ex shared your finances, and your ex makes quite a bit more than you do, support payments can help you during this transition period.

How is spousal support determined?

Unlike child support, there are no defined guidelines for determining spousal support amounts. You must show that you are somewhat dependent on the income earned by your ex. If you both make a similar income, your support request will probably not be granted. The amount and duration of support can vary based on several factors, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The reasonable needs of each party
  • The ability to pay support amounts
  • The educational background of the dependent party
  • Instances of “marital misconduct”

It’s rare for a permanent order for spousal support. However, judges can vary widely when it comes to support determinations. A skilled legal professional can help you assert your interests if you’re planning on requesting spousal support.

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