The law requires a spouse who is more capable of his or her finances to pay for spousal support. Certain divorce or separation cases award this but not all. It often receives the most attention in a divorce. But it is usually determined in the later proceedings.
What is spousal support?
Spousal support, or alimony in legal terms, varies per state. A court evaluates each case on an individual basis. The spouse who makes less money receives the alimony. It is also usually awarded to the spouse who stays at home to take care of the children or household chores. The benefactor spouse supports the recipient. This often ends when his or her finances become stable and secure. Who earned more money during the marriage plays a big part in determining alimony. The role of each spouse is also important. Alimony comes in different forms.
What are the types of alimony?
- Rehabilitative alimony
The court awards this alimony to a spouse who needs financial help with college expenses. It is also given to a spouse who needs to return to a job to make a living after a divorce. This is to finance his or her necessary job training. It is common for spouses who were stay-at-home during the marriage. The recipient spouse was dependent on the other spouse when it comes to finances.
- Temporary alimony
This is alimony given for a specific period of time. A spouse may suffer financial hardship during the divorce process. That spouse will receive alimony until he or she recovers in financial terms.
- Permanent alimony
A spouse pays for this alimony until he or she dies. Or until the recipient spouse decides to marry again.
How to receive spousal support?
Spousal support is not awarded to everyone. There are several steps in receiving spousal support.
- Find out how much alimony you may receive. Determine a budget by adding all your current necessary expenses. This includes mortgage payments, credit card bills, and other monthly payments.
- Each state has requirements and guidelines for alimony. Contact your Houston divorce lawyer to find out more about this.
- File the paperwork needed with the appropriate court. Alimony is sometimes awarded even before the divorce is final.
- Separate your finances. Moving out of the family home will give you a better case in independent living.
What does spousal support cover?
It covers basic provisions. This is to help the ex-spouse to go forward after divorce or separation. This includes food, clothing, lodging and, basic travel. Luxury items such as jewelry or vacation time are not covered. A prenuptial agreement may settle this before marriage.
Is spousal support part of all divorce?
Spousal support is only awarded when one of the spouses is not capable in financial terms. If both spouses can support themselves then it is not discussed in divorce.
Until when is spousal support received?
The duration of spousal support may vary. It may end:
- according to the terms in the spousal support order;
- according to prenuptial agreement terms;
- when the paying spouse becomes incapable or unable to more payments;
- when the recipient spouse becomes capable of managing his or her own finances; or
- when the recipient spouse decides to marry again or cohabit with a new partner.
Spousal support often ends in legal disputes. Especially when determining the termination of the support. A separate legal proceeding will resolve these disputes. Obtaining spousal support involves many legal principles and concepts. Family laws vary by state and a lawyer in your area can be a big help. He or she can give you advice and represent you in a court of law.