Spousal support or maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, is money paid by an ex-spouse to his or her ex-spouse according to the terms and conditions of a settlement agreement or court order after a divorce. Note that alimony is different from child support, and these are calculated and paid separately.
Basic Laws on Spousal Support
Spousal support was necessary in the majority of divorces in generations past. During those times, the husband went to work and earned money, while the wife stayed home and took care of the kids. Today, men and women both work.
While spousal support isn’t a thing of the past, fewer spouses receive it regularly, for shorter time periods, or not at all in select cases. Normally, if a court doesn’t grant spousal support during a divorce, a spouse cannot request later on.
Spousal support is normally awarded if couples have been legally married for a certain amount of time, more so if the wife was mainly responsible for taking care of the household and only has part-time work, or no work at all. The court may also award it to one spouse even if both spouses work, if one has substantially higher earnings.
According to alimony attorneys in Provo, depending on your state, not being married to your partner will have an effect on your right to get spousal support. In the majority of states, if the court finds you guilty of adultery, you may only obtain a small payment of spousal support or nothing at all. Ironically, while this isn’t really a general policy, some states don’t count adultery as a valid reason for a divorce.
Some states that allow fault divorces don’t factor in adultery when dividing the property. Also, some states don’t terminate or reduce spousal support payments because of adultery.
However, the majority of states might lower payments if the receiving spouse cohabits with someone else, especially if cohabitation reduces the need for financial support. Additionally, there are some states that are generally quiet on the issue regarding fault consideration and spousal support.
When going through a difficult divorce and you think you’re legally entitled to alimony, but are not certain of the amount you deserve, legal counsel may be necessary. Before requesting for alimony, know the spousal support type most ideal for you.