During your divorce, you may be ordered to pay alimony, also known as spousal support. It is intended to provide financial assistance to your lower-earning spouse so they can maintain a standard of living like the one they had while you were married.
Spousal support factors
The court considers several factors when deciding how much spousal support to award. These include the length of the marriage and the lifestyle the spouses had while married. If the spouses were married for a long time, the court may be more inclined to award spousal support than in short-term marriages.
The court will also review each spouse’s financial resources, including their income, assets and debts, and their earning capacities. If one spouse left the workforce to raise children or manage the household, they may need spousal support until they can find employment or depending on their age and health, may need it permanently.
In some situations, it may be necessary to modify the spousal support order. However, there are certain conditions that must be met to do this.
First, there usually needs to be a substantial change in circumstances from when the original support order was granted. This may include a large increase in income or on the other hand, a job loss that causes financial difficulty.
It’s important that if you need to change the spousal support amount that you do not simply stop paying. That can carry serious consequences. Instead, you must go to court to make the change and you will need to bring evidence to support the modification request.