What's New And What Remains The Same With Spousal Support


Some may be under the impression that spousal support (alimony, maintenance) is no longer a part of divorces today. That is an incorrect assumption. However, the spousal support of old continues only in part. Read on and find out more.

Why Spousal Support Is Needed

The reason for spousal support is, surprisingly, unchanged over time. Even when you know that many couples often must work outside of the home to survive financially, inequity in spousal income still exists. Not only does the pay for women lag behind that of men, often it is the mother (if there is a woman in the relationship) that elects to remain at home to care for the children of the marriage and not the father. When a party can show a need, spousal support can be ordered. The other party, though, must have the means to pay the support if it's ordered.

Not Only for Women

That is not to say that it's always the mother or the woman that is entitled to spousal support. In the not-too-distant past, it was nearly unheard of for men to be paid spousal support. Now, family court judges base the issue on need and equality. If a woman earns more income than her partner, whether they were "stay-at-home" parents or not, they might end up being awarded spousal support.

A New Form of Spousal Support

When it comes to permanent spousal support as ordered by the final divorce decree, however, things have changed a lot. In most cases, the spouse asking for spousal support is awarded what is known in some places as rehabilitative support. This form of support lasts only for as long as it takes for the party to obtain training, complete their education, or get a job. Permanent support is reserved for older spouses or those with an inability to work due to illness or other issues.

Fault May Not Matter

All states allow divorcing couples to part ways without naming a specific fault-based reason. Irreconcilable differences, for example, simply means the couple wants to divorce due to several very important differences of opinion. In times past, fault played a huge part in spousal support, though. While the laws and court attitudes have supposedly changed, that does not mean the behavior of a spouse doesn't come into play when the question of spousal support comes up. What that means for divorcing parties that plan to ask for spousal support is that anything you can use to tip the scales to your side could be valuable.

Spousal support may not be as automatic as it once was, but it is still ordered when the situation warrants it. Speak to a divorce lawyer to find out more.


22 November 2021

Investing in Your Children’s Futures

I was blessed to have grown up in a home with loving supportive parents. They both worked extremely hard in order for me and my sister to enjoy a better life than they had. Financially, they bought me a new car when I was sixteen. They also paid for my college expenses. Many parents do the same for their kids. They want to provide for them in the present while safeguarding their futures. One way parents can invest in their kids’ futures is by placing money in trusts that their children can utilize when they reach a certain age. A reputable attorney can establish beneficial trusts for your kids. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of consulting with an attorney about setting up trusts for your children.