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Spousal support, also known as "alimony," is a court order for one spouse to make support payments to the other spouse after they have separated. Years ago, a husband making alimony payments was the only way for a wife to support herself after a divorce; these payments were often permanent.
Today spousal support is no longer gender-biased. It is now determined by a number of factors meant to help the supported spouse regain financial independence. In addition, spousal support is usually no longer permanent. Today it is structured to last a reasonable amount of time for rehabilitation; a good rule of thumb is half of the length of time you were married for marriages that lasted less than 10 years; for marriage of 10 years or greater usually result in a longer support order. Support payments will usually stop if the supported spouse begins to share expenses with a new partner or lives in an amorous relationship with a person of the opposite sex. The Courts do not take acts of infidelity into consideration when establishing support payments. Instead, the Courts base their decision on a number of factors listed below:
Adjusting Spousal Support Payments
It is possible for support payments to be adjusted after a couple’s divorce decree has been formalized. In order for the Courts to make such an adjustment, a good reason must be provided. Below is a list of what the Courts generally consider good and bad reasons:
Adjustments can be made temporarily to compensate for a change in circumstance. Normal payments will resume once the change in circumstance has ended.
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|© 2005 Peter H. Wernicke - Family Law :: Divorce :: Child Support :: Child Custody :: Domestic Violence :: Civil Litigation|
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