Spousal support is not automatically awarded. There are a multitude of factors that the court considers when determining if you should pay spousal support. Spousal support (also called “spousal maintenance” or “alimony”) is awarded only to maintain your ex-spouses standard of living. If your ex-spouse is able to support themselves with their own income, then you may not have to pay spousal support at all. This article will go over some of the factors the court considers in determining whether or not to order support.
The court will consider a variety of factors, but they essentially break down into six topics: your spouse’s education, ability to work, work s story and standard of living, plus your work history and ability to pay support. This article will address the first four factors.
The court will look at your spouse’s personal history. It will delve into the duration of the marriage, whether your ex-spouse worked beforehand and their education. First, the court will analyze their education. They must disclose their full education from high school to college. This includes any community college or technical courses taken before or after the marriage began.
After considering education, the court will look into your spouse’s physical ability to work, such as: injuries or illnesses. Furthermore, the court considers other non-health related work limitations; like if your spouse cares for a sick child or is enrolled in school.
The court also considers your spouse’s work history. How long he or she worked before the marriage and if they plan on working post-divorce. The more your ex-spouse worked, the more likely it is the court will presume they are capable of supporting themselves.
If you are going through a divorce, then you may want to speak to a divorce attorney. The court will not order support automatically. Be sure to review the evidence and declarations your ex-spouse submits to ensure that they accurately reflect their ability to work.