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How Is Spousal Support Determined?

Posted by Unknown | Feb 09, 2021 | 0 Comments

how is spousal support determined

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One pressing question surrounding divorce and its related legalities is how to determine spousal support (alimony). This guide delves deep into its intricacies, providing insights on who qualifies for it, its types, when to hire an attorney, and why you might consider our firm for your situation.


How do I calculate support payments to a spouse?

Determining spousal support payments is a complex and multifaceted process. Here are a few key considerations that play into this decision.

  • Income Disparity: Income disparity is one of the key considerations when calculating spousal support payments, typically falling on those earning higher salaries to provide financial support to their lower-earning partner.
  • Duration of Marriage: The length and amount of support often depend upon the duration of the marriage. Longer marriages tend to provide longer support periods.
  • Standard of Living: Courts take into account the standard of living established during marriage when making their decisions regarding divorce, with an aim to ensure that a spouse with a lower income can maintain a similar lifestyle post-divorce.
  • Custody Arrangements: Child custody arrangements may impact spousal support payments. This is particularly the case if one spouse serves as the primary caregiver and needs financial support to take care of their children.
  • Age and Health: Both spouses' ages and health will be taken into account. Support arrangements could change if one partner is experiencing poor physical health or is near retirement age.
  • Employment: If one spouse earns less, and could potentially be earning more, support payments could be affected accordingly.
  • Contributions to Marriage: When calculating contributions to marriage, non-financial contributions such as childcare and homemaking should also be included in the calculation. Courts recognize their worth to families.
  • Assets and Liabilities: The distribution of assets and liabilities has an effect on spousal support payments. If one spouse holds significant assets, this may require them to increase support payments accordingly.


What qualifies a spouse for alimony payments?

To qualify for alimony payments, one spouse must demonstrate they have an actual need for financial support based on factors like income, age, and health. Alimony can serve as a financial equalizing mechanism after divorce. However, its outcome cannot always be guaranteed.


How long do most people pay alimony?

Spousal support length may depend on various factors, including length of marriage and circumstances of divorce. Alimony payments may provide temporary assistance while one spouse recovers, but in long-term marriages, this support may become permanent or long-term.


Types of Alimony

Alimony Types Alimony isn't an all-encompassing concept - its types vary based on individual situations and needs.

  • Temporary Alimony: Temporary alimony provides immediate assistance following a divorce to help the spouse receive it with immediate expenses such as finding housing or finding employment.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative Alimony is awarded when one spouse needs financial support to learn new skills or gain education to become self-reliant and become independent. Its purpose is to assist that spouse in getting back on the right track.
  • Permanent Alimony: Under certain circumstances, permanent alimony may be granted. Typically in long-term relationships or where one spouse cannot support themselves due to age or health.
  • Lump Sum Alimony: Instead of the regular payments required under periodic alimony agreements, lump sum alimony provides one one-time payment that may help divide assets or settle divorce cases more efficiently. It may be used as part of the divorce settlement agreement.

Both parties paying and receiving alimony must understand the differences among various types of alimony payments.


Why is hiring a divorce attorney better than going without one?

Divorce can be emotionally taxing and legally complex. Although it is possible to navigate it without legal representation, hiring one may be the better option in many instances.

  • Legal Experience: Divorce lawyers possess extensive knowledge in family law and can provide invaluable guidance that ensures you understand your rights and responsibilities as you proceed through a divorce proceeding.
  • Objective Perspective: Divorce proceedings can often become emotionally charged. Divorce attorneys provide objective perspectives to help clients make rational decisions during these proceedings.
  • Paperwork and Procedures: Legal processes involve an abundance of paperwork, with strict procedures that must be abided by in order to be successful. A lawyer can help protect you from serious consequences if a key document or deadline is missed.
  • Negotiation Skills: A skilled divorce lawyer is an expert negotiator who will seek to achieve the most favorable result for their client in terms of child custody and support, property division, or spousal support.


When is the right time to hire an attorney?

Timing is of utmost importance when hiring divorce attorneys. For optimal results, consult an attorney as soon as you consider divorce or receive papers from your partner for legal separation. Earlier consultations can help you understand your rights better and prepare yourself for what lies ahead in the future.


What criteria must I follow to select an experienced attorney?

Selecting the ideal divorce attorney for a successful outcome is paramount to its success. Here are a few criteria you should keep in mind when making this important decision.

  • Experience: Choose an attorney with extensive experience handling divorce and family law cases. Experience can often translate to expertise.
  • Reputation: Check a lawyer's reputation by reading reviews from former clients or getting referrals from family or friends who have experienced divorce.
  • Communication: Effective communication between attorney and client is vitally important. Your attorney should respond quickly, explaining complex legal concepts in language you can comprehend.
  • Price: Although cost shouldn't be the sole deciding factor when hiring an attorney, it is crucial to understand their fee structure.


Why Choose Drama-Free Divorce?

Divorce can be an emotional and legal journey, our firm may be the ideal option depending on your unique situation.

  • Experience: Our team consists of experienced divorce lawyers with vast experience handling everything from amicable to contentious divorce cases.
  • Compassion: At our firm, every case is handled with understanding and empathy. We understand the emotional roller coaster that is divorce, so we will provide support at each step.
  • Legal Experience: Our family law attorneys possess extensive expertise, providing tailored guidance for your situation.
  • Proven Track Record: Over the years, our clients have received positive results that have protected their future financial security and rights.
  • Client-Centric Approach: Your goals, concerns, and needs are our number one priority. Together we devise a plan tailored specifically to meeting these objectives.


Suggested Action Steps

Here are a few suggestions for action after having gained an understanding of how spousal support is determined, as well as legal representation's importance in this process.

  • Consult an Attorney: When contemplating or filing for divorce, it is advisable to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Gather Documentation: Begin collecting documents such as financial and marriage records as well as any additional pertinent details.
  • Establish Clear Goals: Create clear goals for the divorce. These may include property division, childcare arrangements, or spousal support costs.
  • Consider Mediation: Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, mediation or collaborative divorcing could provide alternative dispute resolution methods that help simplify and expedite the process.
  • Keep Informed: Stay up-to-date with your state's divorce laws, and your rights and responsibilities during a separation or divorce proceeding.

Divorce can be an intimidating prospect, but with legal assistance and expert knowledge behind you, it doesn't need to be daunting. Seeking professional guidance will ensure an equitable resolution that benefits both parties involved. Contact us today at 816 615-5555 or send us an email on our Contact Page.

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