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What to know about calculating spousal support

Who can receive spousal support?

Any spouse can request spousal support during a divorce. This includes men, women, people who have been married for five years, and people who have been married for 50 years.

However, spousal support is not granted in every case. Parties must establish entitlement. Per the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, three types of claims can determine entitlement:

  • Contractual – These claims reflect the existence of valid agreements or contracts between parties.
  • Compensatory – These claims reflect situations in which a recipient experienced economic losses as a result of his or her marital role.
  • Non-compensatory – These claims reflect a significant financial need and the recipient’s inability to support himself or herself.

Amount and duration while calculating spousal support

If a judge confirms entitlement, he or she will consider numerous factors based on laws and guidelines to calculate the amount and duration of support. These factors can include:

  • Each party’s income
  • Child support payments
  • Custody arrangements
  • Economic loss resulting from marital roles
  • Marital standard of living
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ages of the parties
  • The time and effort it would take a person to become self-sufficient

These and other factors help a judge decide how much support to award and how long spousal support payments should last. The awards may be temporary or indefinite, depending on the specific circumstances of an individual case.

Seeking legal guidance

Too often, people oversimplify the process or make assumptions that lead to costly oversights while calculating spousal support. In reality, spousal support claims can be far more complicated than people realize, which is why legal guidance from a qualified family law lawyer can be valuable.

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