Kevin Qualls Family Law
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How is spousal support determined?

It is not uncommon for married couples to split up family responsibilities. This often means that one spouse earns money for the family while the other spouse stays home to take care of the house and children. While this arrangement may suit both sides well and will help maintain a happy and healthy relationship in many cases, when a marriage turns south and a divorce is on the horizon, this could make life after a divorce especially difficult for the non-working spouse.

Entering the workforce after a substantial time away and while in a later stage of life presents its own difficulties. Add to it the new reality that each spouse is now on their own to start over with life, including the costs and stresses of living a life independent of one another, and things can appear to be especially daunting.

The courts understand these struggles, and will consider several factors before making a decision regarding the possibility of spousal support or alimony. They will look at each spouse's situation, including their financial status, as well as their age and physical and mental condition. They will also look to determine how much time and money is necessary for a spouse to re-educate or get properly trained to enter the workforce to gain financial independence. The courts will also look at the length of the marriage, as well as the standard of living during the course of the marriage.

All these will be taken into consideration before the courts consider awarding spousal support, also known as alimony, to one spouse to help with a new life post-divorce. If you about to enter a divorce, or have already divorced and are having difficulties collecting spousal support payments, you may want to get more information about your family law options.

Source: Findlaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed Aug. 7, 2017

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