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Understanding the basics of spousal support - Part I

If you are contemplating divorce or if you have already filed for divorce, you are likely concerned about how the process of transitioning from a dual household to a single household will affect your life. One of the primary issues you may have concerns about is finances. No matter how your marital finances are arranged, there tends to be numerous financial challenges associated with splitting a household in two.

One of the ways that the law helps spouses transition financially from married life to single life is spousal support. Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is generally awarded in cases where a significant financial disparity exists between one spouse’s income and another spouse’s income. It is important to understand that spousal support awards aim to ensure equity, not to imbalance spousal asset amounts.

There is no singular calculus for how spousal support award amounts are determined. Each state has specific laws governing divorce which may influence spousal support calculus. In addition, because each set of marital finances is unique, each spousal support will be unique as well. State laws, the length of your marriage, the disparity between your income and your spouse’s income, your child custody arrangements and a host of other factors may influence how spousal support is ultimately calculated in your specific divorce case.

It is worth noting that because a host of factors tend to play into spousal support determinations, it may benefit you to speak with your attorney about the particulars of your case and any questions you may have about this matter specifically.

Please check back soon as we will be continuing our discussion on this important topic in a future post.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “Top 5 Spousal Support Questions,” Le Trinh, June 22, 2015

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