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Spousal support: A part of divorce

As you begin to look into divorce, one of the things that will come up is spousal support. Not all people pay or receive spousal support, but depending on your situation, you may wish to receive it or to avoid paying it.

The first thing you'll want to determine is how much you or your spouse can get in spousal support. There's no formula to determine what someone could obtain from the other person, but there are a number of factors considered. These include:

  • Current standard of living
  • Length of the marriage
  • Sacrifices either person made for the other's career or education
  • Earning capacity of each person
  • Impairments or inability to earn
  • Current income of each spouse

By looking at these factors, the judge can get a good idea of whether or not a person can afford to pay spousal support and if a spouse deserves to receive it.

Types of support

There are a few kinds of support, but the main include short-term support and lifetime support. Generally speaking, lifetime awards aren't given anymore. However, it's normal for someone to receive spousal support for several years, for instance, if he or she needs that time to attend school or build a career. It's a good idea to talk to your attorney about the different kinds of spousal support and how they could affect you and your case.

Our site has more information on spousal support and what to expect when you file for divorce. If you have a clear idea of what you can expect, you can make better decisions for your future.

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