Spousal support

Temporary relief

While your divorce action is pending, we can petition the court for temporary spousal support.

Spousal support

There are three types of spousal support or alimony:

  • transitional support —temporary award to help one spouse obtain education or training for re-entry into the job market
  • compensatory support—compensation for financial sacrifices made to enhance the education or advancement of the other party
  • maintenance support—especially in a long-term marriage, payments made on a temporary or indefinite period to allow for the other spouse to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

Factors used to determine support include:

  • length of the marriage
  • the age and health of each spouse
  • the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage
  • the income and earning capacity of each party
  • each person’s training and employment skills
  • work experience
  • financial needs and additional resources
  • child support obligations.

Spousal support payments are tax deductible by the person making payment. The spouse receiving payment will be required to treat the income as taxable income.

Judges differ in their attitude about spousal support.  The age, health and earning capacity of both parties are factors in determine support.  If the person paying support becomes incapacitated or dies, the support will be terminated. We prefer to have our clients emerge from divorce with a settlement that allows them to go forward with their lives without being solely dependent upon the ex-spouse.

Modifications to support

The support you pay may be reduced if you are in poor health, experience a decline in income, lose your job or plan to retire.

The support you receive may be increased if you:

  • have unforeseen health care needs
  • know that your ex-spouse’s income has increased significantly
  • need money for education or training
  • were unable to collect the property that was awarded to you.

Spousal support is not necessarily modified when a person remarries or retires.

Enforcing support payments

If your ex-spouse is not abiding by the terms of the divorce decree, I will enforce the judgment on your behalf.  This can include garnishment of wages and motions for contempt.  I will file a request for attorney fees to force the delinquent spouse to pay all fees and court costs.