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How spousal support is determined during divorce

Spousal support and spousal support requests are an important part of any divorce. There are different ways that spouses can contribute to their marriage over the years, including monetarily or by contributing to the home and family in other ways.

In some circumstances, one spouse, such as the spouse who remained at home to care for the household or children, will not have the same earning capacity as the spouse who worked outside of the home. The divorce process seeks to help the divorcing spouses be as financially stable as possible following the divorce which may result in a request by one spouse for spousal support. The other spouse may oppose such a request so it is helpful for both to know what factors spousal support decisions are based on.

Factors which may be considered when determining an award of alimony, or spousal support, includes the contributions of each spouse to the marital property; the roles of the spouses in maintaining the family home and caring for the children; the length of the marriage; the financial resources of each of the spouses; the age of the spouses; the health of each of the spouses, as well as their emotional well-being; the earning capacity of each of the spouses; the financial liabilities of each of the spouses; the standard of living of the couple during their marriage; the time it will take for the lesser-earning spouse to receive the training they will need to enter the workforce and become self-sufficient.

Spousal support can be a hot button, yet important, issue during divorce so it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand the circumstances in which it may be awarded, as well as when it may not be awarded. The family law process provides divorcing couples with the resources to help them navigate their divorce-related concerns, including spousal support.