One of the most significant ways that your divorce will affect you is through your finances. Even in an amicable divorce and with a steady income, you will likely have to make adjustments to your lifestyle and other parts of your life as you transition to your post-divorce circumstances. If you are the lesser-earning spouse, you may have concerns about the economic inequity brought about by the end of your marriage and how you can best navigate this difficult time.
One of the options available to you could be securing spousal support. These are regular payments made by the higher-earning spouse to the lesser-earning spouse to offset the financial difficulty often brought about by a divorce. It is in your interests to learn whether you could qualify for this type of support and how much could be available to you.
A rightful claim to alimony
Not everyone who goes through a divorce will have a claim to alimony support. However, if you earn less than the other party and will experience significant financial hardship because of your divorce, you could have a claim to spousal support. There is no set amount of alimony you could receive, but the following factors will determine the amount of support you could get each month:
- The length of the marriage
- Lifestyle enjoyed by both spouses during the marriage
- Physical and mental capacities of both spouses
- How long lesser-earning spouse needs to become self-sufficient
- Ability of one spouse to make payments while still supporting himself or herself
Spousal support can be permanent, or the court may decide that it should only be temporary. If temporary, the court will grant it for a period of time, during which you will find other employment, seek education or find additional ways to support yourself. Spouses have the right to reach an agreement on spousal support matters out of court based on discussions and negotiations.
The long-term impact of your decisions
The choices that you make during your divorce will have an impact on you for years to come. You will benefit from considering all of your options before you agree to any terms or make a decision that could have a potential negative effect on your financial stability. You will also find it helpful to learn whether you could have a rightful claim to spousal support and how much you may receive.