Alimony / Spousal Support

Alimony / Spousal Support

The obligation of one spouse to support the other for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed by the parties or by the court’s order.

Can I resolve my spousal support claim out of court?

Many times, parties are able to negotiate and settle support outside of court. An attorney is needed to draft a separation agreement or court order. Talk with us about which option is best for you. It is less expensive and less stressful to negotiate and settle cases out of Court. If the parties are able to work together, settling is always the best option. Sometimes, we utilize the services of a neutral third party to mediate the case. These mediators are used in conjunction with an attorney as the mediator does not give any legal advice. However, there are times when settlement is not an option and you are forced to litigate whether you want to or not.

How do I know if I am owed alimony?

To determine if you are eligible to receive alimony, the court will consider whether or not you are a dependent spouse, whether or not the other spouse is a supporting spouse, whether you have a need for alimony and whether or not the supporting spouse has an ability to pay alimony. The following factors are also considered:

  • the marital misconduct of either spouse
  • earning capacities of the spouses
  • the ages and physical, mental, and emotional condition of both spouses
  • the amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses and benefits such as medical insurance and retirement income including social security
  • the duration of the marriage
  • the contribution of one spouse to the others education or training
  • the extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of one spouse will be affected by being the custodian of minor children
  • the standard of living of the spouses during the marriage
  • the relative education of the spouses and time required to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment
  • the relative assets and liabilities of the spouses
  • the contribution of a spouse as homemaker
  • the relative needs of the spouses
  • the tax ramifications of the alimony award
  • any factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds just and proper
  • the fact that income was considered in the court’s equitable distribution of property order

Can I recover my attorney’s fees?

Yes, the court in its discretion can award attorney’s fees associated with your claim for spousal support.

If I am the supporting spouse, can I move out and not pay the mortgage?

If you are the “breadwinner,” you most certainly want to speak with an attorney before moving out or cutting off support.