The end of a marriage is the start of a period in which the value of a relationship between a husband and wife is reduced to a financial asset. An aggrieved spouse will take stock at what they’ve put into the marriage, what they expect to lose and, with divorce as an option, how much they expect to receive.
Spousal support is a particularly contentious part of the marriage dissolution process. The person filing for divorce wants to maintain at least the standard of living they’re used to, and that comes down to negotiating temporary or permanent alimony from the spouse. The decision a judge reaches can affect the long-term quality of life of both partners.
You can expect the subject of spousal support to come up as a part of your divorce lawyer consultation in San Antonio, TX. Here is an overview of what you should know about spousal support.
Purpose of Spousal Support
One of the most important parts of a divorce proceeding is determining whether one spouse should financially support the other post-divorce. The spouse that is the lower wage earner or earns no income at all is facing an extended period without the primary wage earner in the household, so the immediate goal in many divorce cases is to ensure there is temporary financial help until the spouse is on their feet financially. The task that falls on the divorce lawyer is to negotiate spousal support to ensure their client has the income to minimize the economic impact that can follow the end of a marriage.
Courts hearing divorce cases rely upon several factors to determine if a spouse is entitled to financial support. As mentioned before, the standard of living each spouse maintained during the marriage is important to a decision, as is the individual incomes of each spouse, and what each contributed during those years of marriage.
The individual incomes generated over the course of a marriage can come under scrutiny during the divorce process, and the findings can determine whether a spouse filing for divorce will receive post-marital support. A judge calculating income sources and evaluating the respondent spouse’s ability to pay support could determine if the petitioning spouse should receive:
- Temporary rehabilitative support to enable the spouse to return to school or get career counseling to enter or return to the workforce
- Limited support to help the spouse financially for a specific time
- Alimony to reimburse the spouse for professional or financial sacrifices made during the marriage for the benefit of the other spouse.
- Alimony for a limited period that is not permanent but can be modified in the event of lifestyle changes like unemployment or retirement, or if the petitioning spouse moves in with another partner.
The Right Lawyer
It is essential when going through a divorce, especially if you are seeking spousal support, that you have skilled and experienced legal help working on your behalf. The most important step to take when your marriage comes to an end is a call to arrange for a divorce lawyer consultation. If you have questions or would like help navigating your divorce, call the Law Offices of Steven C. Benke today.