Spousal support, or partner support, can be a challenging issue during divorce because one spouse may be seeking needed spousal support and the other spouse may be asked to pay spousal support. Spousal support, in general, is a payment made by one former spouse the other spouse. Because spousal support can be contentious, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand how it is determined.
A spousal support award is determined based on the evaluation of a variety of different factors. The family law court will consider different factors to determine if spousal support will be awarded, the type of spousal support that will be awarded and the duration of any award of spousal support. Factors the family law court will consider when evaluating spousal support include the length of the marriage or domestic partnership; the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or domestic partnership and the needs of the spouses based on that; what each of the spouses can contribute, or does contribute, to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or domestic partnership; and the age and health of the spouses.
Additional factors the family law court may consider include the property and debts of the couple; the impact of employment on the responsibility to care for children; if one spouse or partner contributed the education, training, career or achievement of a professional license of the other spouse; if the career of one of the spouse’s was impacted unemployment to care for the children or the household; the tax impact of spousal support; and if there was any history of domestic violence in the marriage or domestic partnership.
Spousal support may be requested by either spouse which is why it is important to know what factors the family law court will consider when considering a spousal support request. The family law process provides a variety of different resources to help divorcing couples with their concerns, including spousal support after their divorce.