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Deciding on spousal support: The factors involved

If you're going through a divorce, one of the things you may be interested in seeking is spousal support. For example, if you stayed home with your children to raise them and relied on your spouse's income, then you may want to ask for support as you reenter the workforce.

Normally, you won't decide on spousal support until later on in your divorce. Why? You need to divide your property first. After dividing your property, you'll be able to see how much support is needed, if any.

How is the amount of support you will receive determined?

The amount of support you'll receive will be determined by looking at five factors including:

  • The length of your marriage
  • Your previous/marital lifestyle
  • The paying spouse's ability to pay
  • Both spouses' ages and health
  • The recipient's need for support

Spousal support is supposed to limit any unfair impacts of the divorce on a nonwage-earning or low-wage-earning spouse.

Can you ask for spousal support as a lump sum?

You can, but the decision on if you are able to receive it as a lump sum will have to be determined by your spouse's ability to pay. If they do not have the money up front, then they will likely be unable to agree to a lump sum. However, you might be able to come up with a different agreement, such as one that allows you to receive two large payments or accept an asset in exchange for alimony.

You should review your finances carefully before deciding if you want to seek spousal support. If so, then you should gather your financial information to make your case.

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Law Offices of Indu Srivastav, APLC
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