Spousal support is an important issue that may come up during a divorce. It is a payment one former spouse may be required to pay to the other so it is helpful to understand what spousal support is and how it is determined when it has been requested.
How spousal support is determined
There are several factors used to determine spousal support including:
- The length of the marriage or domestic partnership.
- The needs of each of the spouses or partners based on the standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership.
- What each of the spouses or partners contributes or can contribute to the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage or domestic partnership. The earnings and earning capacities of each of the spouse or domestic partners are also taken into account.
- If one spouse or domestic partner helped the other obtain education, training, a professional license or career goals.
- If one of the spouse’s or domestic partner’s careers was impacted by unemployment or remaining at home to care for children or the household.
- If having a job would make it too difficult to care for children.
- The age and health of both of the spouses or domestic partners.
- The debts and property of the spouses or domestic partners.
- If there was any domestic violence in the marriage or domestic partnership.
- The tax impact of spousal support.
The duration and amount of spousal support needs to be determined in addition to the nature of the spousal support. Spousal or partner support typically ends when the divorce court ends it, when one of the spouses or domestic partners passes away or when the recipient spouse remarries or registers a new domestic partnership. Spousal support can be one of the many complex issues that come up during divorce which is why trained guidance can be valuable to have.