It goes without saying that divorces are very difficult for both parties involved. They will affect you emotionally, socially, and financially.
Finances tend to be the biggest uncertainty in a divorce proceeding. Who gets what? How much do they get?
One aspect that’s particularly misunderstood is spousal support, also known as alimony.
The history of spousal support actually extends back to the Code of Hammurabi in 1754 BC where it was stated a man must provide for the women who bears his children. In more modern times, spousal support is financial support a person is legally obligated to provide to their spouse after (and sometimes before) a divorce or separation.
This is different from child support.
It’s common that one partner in the marriage is the primary provider, and after the divorce, the other partner may not be able to take care of themselves without assistance. This is where spousal support comes into play.
Traditionally, men have paid alimony to their ex-wives after a divorce. This isn’t always the case today as society has become much more gender equal. Because of this, alimony is generally called “Spousal Support” instead.
That said, the large majority of people paying spousal support are still men.
Ultimately, the court decides who, if anyone, pays and receives spousal support. In some divorce settlements, no spousal support will be given at all.
Much of it depends on how much each partner earns and how capable the partner making less money is of getting a job with sustainable income.
Once again, this is a decision made by the courts that can vary greatly from case to case. Determining factors include length of marriage and employment capabilities of the one receiving spousal support. Sometimes spousal support may be paid in a lump sum.
Most often, it’s a fix rate that’s paid over a preset amount of time.
In special situations, a permanent spousal support may be established.
In the past few decades, there have been a number of additional rules and regulations placed on spousal support that can affect the outcome. You need an experienced divorce attorney if you want to make sure you’re financially secure after a divorce.