Finance, LEGAL

Factors Affecting Eligibility on Spousal Support

The laws regarding spousal support vary by state. However, most states avoid awarding permanent alimony. A person can petition the court to change or terminate a spousal support order. It requires proving a substantial change in circumstances. The court weighs a variety of factors before deciding on spousal support. For example, it examines each spouse’s financial status and earning potential.


According to existing guidelines, a spouse can qualify for spousal support if the lower-earning spouse needs ongoing financial assistance to maintain a lifestyle similar to that enjoyed while the couple was married. The payor may deduct spousal support payments from their taxable income even if they are typically taxable income for the receiver. Courts use the statutory guideline calculator to determine how much spousal support should be paid. A court, however, has the discretion to vary from the rules and impose other sums or time frames. In general, judges consider the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during that time and each spouse’s income. In addition, they may consider any assets the spouses may have saved or the possibility of cohabitation with someone else. The court usually awards rehabilitative alimony, which provides training to help the spouse become self-supporting. Whether you are receiving or making the payments, your lawyer can assist you in building your case for the duration of the spousal support you seek. You can find support from sites like to help you through your divorce.


In addition to income, a judge may consider each spouse’s assets. It is especially true if one former spouse spends much of the marriage caring for children or a disabled loved one and never worked to earn money. Spousal support is meant to assist an ex-spouse in continuing to live like they did when they were married. However, this type of support can only cover some things. Many states have adopted guidelines determining how much alimony will be paid, but judges retain substantial discretion. The length of the marriage is another important factor. A judge can award long-term support to help the dependent spouse return to the job market or short-term rehabilitative support to give the other spouse time to obtain new skills and find employment.


The age of the person who is requesting support is an important factor. For example, a judge may award permanent spousal support if someone was married for 30 years and is now 65. It is because they had significant time to build their savings and retirement plans. However, this doesn’t mean that the older spouse is guaranteed alimony. A judge can decide not to award spousal support or to reduce the amount. A court can also grant temporary spousal support, known as pendente lite alimony, while the divorce progresses. It is a form of interim backing that is not taxed. This type of support is generally less long-lasting and as high in amount as permanent spousal support.


In some cases, spousal support can allow the lower-earning spouse to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage. It also helps them get the training and skills to become self-sufficient. For the dutiful spouse who worked full-time to help their partner complete a degree or career program, they may qualify for reimbursement alimony. The court typically determines this amount using a guideline calculator. Judges use a variety of factors to decide whether alimony will be awarded, how much, and for how long. Some of the most common considerations include need, ability to pay, length of the marriage, the standard of living, ages and health of both spouses and any children involved. They will not consider who caused the divorce or any allegations of marital misconduct.


In addition to looking at your current financial situation, judges also consider your education level. The more educated you are, the easier it is to get a job and become financially self-sufficient. Some spouses may qualify for reimbursement alimony if they paid their partner’s tuition and other expenses while that person pursued a degree or training program. It differs from rehabilitative alimony, which helps a spouse gain employment skills and become income self-sufficient. The court will also examine your age to see if you are near retirement age. It could weigh against awarding spousal support or maintenance. However, you can ask to modify an existing support order if there is a substantial change in circumstances. It could include a significant health issue or a new financial opportunity.