Finding An Advocate

Starting Early: Understanding Spousal Support Before The Divorce

Many may believe that divorce affects life primarily after the divorce but things can start to happen earlier than that. Read on to find out what to do about spousal support to bridge the gap between separation and the final divorce decree.

No Longer Married?

Once you and your spouse are no longer living under the same roof, you can begin to seek some separation financial relief. If you have children, you can begin to be paid child support, and you may also be eligible for spousal support. It's worth mentioning that you don't have to wait for the divorce to be final to address other issues like property and debts either. Speak to your divorce lawyer about issues that cannot wait and the judge can order one of you to pay certain bills, to live temporarily in the family home, to use the family car, and more.

You Must Show a Need

Spousal support (or alimony) may have been more routinely ordered in the past when women often stayed home to care for the children of the couple. Doing so might have created a huge deficit in the earning ability of one spouse once the couple parted ways. While it's not routinely ordered anymore, it's still there for those that need it. If you want to be paid spousal support, whether it's during the separation or once the divorce is final, there are some things to consider.

Your spouse must be able to pay the ordered money. That means your spouse's financial situation is examined to determine their ability to pay. If they have child support obligations, that is given a priority.

Those with physical or mental disabilities or that are older may be perceived as needing spousal support more than others. On the other hand, those who may be healthy, younger, and more educated are not as likely to receive support.

The income of both parties is considered with disparities between the parties being identified. When one party makes a lot more income than the other, spousal support may follow.

Spouses that gave up the opportunity for education may be provided with rehabilitative support. This form of support ends once the party attains a certain goal, like getting a job.

During separation, the spousal support ordered will be known as temporary support. It ends once the divorce is final. The provision for permanent or rehabilitative support must be part of the final decree.

To find out more about how to be covered by spousal support during the separation period, speak to a local divorce attorney.