As family law attorneys, we hear quite a few different viewpoints on alimony, also known as spousal support, from our clients. Some of these include the following.
- I don't want any contact with my spouse, so I'm not interested in alimony.
- I want all the support I can get to make my spouse suffer.
- I gave my spouse years of my life, so I deserve lots of alimony
- I have a real need for alimony because I cannot support myself.
Aside from the last item in the above list, these viewpoints come from a place of deep and bitter emotion. It would be much wiser for people to separate themselves from their negative emotions and look at spousal support more objectively. Declining alimony outright or getting back at a spouse by demanding too much both go against the purpose of spousal support.
Decades ago, spousal support was almost automatic, and it usually went to the wife. Today, it is not automatic but is based on real need and fairness. Family law courts are more than willing to award alimony when a spouse needs it.
For example, if one spouse did not work outside the home during the marriage, they probably lack the means to be self-sufficient. Temporary spousal support can help divorced people gain an education or start a business. When these spouses are able to earn a proper income and no longer need help, alimony can end.
In marriages that involve wealth or valuable assets, it is particularly unwise to decline spousal support outright. After all, you contributed to your marriage and to the home, so you deserve to go on living a secure life. We invite you to further review our website for information about spousal support.