What Is Spousal Support, and What Factors Determine It?

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences two people can experience. If the divorce is friendly, the two separating might still be saddened by the loss of intimacy. If the divorce is emotionally fraught and messy, however, it makes the separation that much more difficult. If your divorce is unfriendly, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may try and find a way to hurt you monetarily in addition to emotionally. They may try to get you to pay spousal support, or alimony, even if you can’t afford it. A request for spousal support may also be necessary, however, depending on the status of your ex.

Factors Allowing Spousal Support

If your case is brought before a judge, he or she will only look at your case if the following are true:

  1. The spouse seeking support has no resources for self-sufficiency
  2. The spouse seeking support is unable to be self-sufficient or is responsible for the care of a child whose needs don’t allow that spouse to work full-time outside the home

In your case, if both of these things are true, the judge will grant that support to your spouse. After this, the only thing left to determine is the amount of spousal support you will need to pay. This number is determined by looking at both spouses’ financial resources, the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and physical health of the spouse seeking support, and the time needed to acquire the experience or degree for the spouse to find an appropriate job.

Spousal support isn’t forever. Once the supported spouse finds sufficient employment or remarries, or if the spouse dies, you no longer need to pay alimony. If both exes agree to discontinue the spousal support, it may also end that way.

If you’re unsure about whether your spouse qualifies for spousal support, contact one of our Louisville family law attorneys at (502) 812-1889 or fill out our online form for more information.