Spousal Support ~ What To Know If You Want It

Are you getting a divorce and want to get spousal support from your estranged spouse? If so, you likely have your own reasons for seeking support. However, a few things will influence whether you actually receive spousal support, which is sometimes referred to as alimony. Different states have rules or criteria set, and it is wise to know what they are in your state. The following are a few things that could impact whether you receive court-ordered spousal support. 

Overseeing Judge

Some people mistakenly think that if one spouse is more "at fault" for the divorce, the spouse with less blame can get alimony. Others assume that it is based on finances. There are also divorcees who think that infidelity is an automatic qualifier for alimony. The judge in your case will make the final decision regarding whether or not you receive support and the duration. The determination will be based on the facts presented by both attorneys regarding why you should or should not receive it, and the judge has to use the information presented to determine if there is a legal basis to order it. 


If you live in a jurisdiction that bases spousal support on income, you might be awarded it if your spouse earned more money than you. It is often awarded when one spouse was a homemaker while the other worked to provide for the home. If one spouse "put a hold on their life" to support the other spouse in pursuing an education and career, judges may award alimony to the spouse who did not get the opportunity to build career skills or get an education. Sometimes rehabilitative spousal support is ordered. These orders are put in place long enough for the other spouse to get skills or training to support themselves. 


There are some jurisdictions that take infidelity into consideration. However, you might need other factors to make your case stronger. If a judge awards alimony based solely on the premise of infidelity, it will likely be a set period of payments or if both parties are willing a lump sum may be awarded. One way to strengthen your chances of getting alimony for infidelity is to identify other reasons. The goal is to create a preponderance of the evidence that you deserve the support. For example, your spouse may have cheated and been emotionally abusive. 

A divorce attorney is a good resource to use to better understand spousal support. They can ask questions about your marriage, which can help them identify if you have a strong case for receiving it. You can click here to find out more.