Spousal Support 101: Who Pays, When And Why
Cassidy Chansirik Student at U.C. Berkeley
And that was before the pandemic.
Divorce rates spiked in China after the first wave of the pandemic. Experts at Reform Austin predict that couples in the United States may face the same fate.
But divorcing doesn't mean you go your separate ways and never think of each other again. Usually, one party must pay the other - monthly or in a lump sum - after a divorce.
According to the Census Bureau, 243,000 individuals received spousal support after divorcing.
If you are considering divorce, it’s important to know that you may have to pay spousal support to your ex, or receive it, if the judge sees fit.
What is spousal support?
Spousal support is financial support given monthly to your ex-spouse following a divorce or legal separation. The purpose of it is to limit any unfair economic impacts faced by the spouse who is non-wage earning or lower-wage earning.
Spousal support is also referred to as alimony.
Types of spousal support
There are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.
Temporary spousal support is given for a set amount of time, and is intended to lessen the impact of economic hardship of divorce for one spouse.
Permanent spousal support is given until the receiving spouse remarries or the paying spouse dies. Currently, only Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and West Virginia have permanent spousal support in place.
How is spousal support decided?
The judge may use any of the following factors to determine whether or not to award spousal support:
- Length of the marriage
- Need of the receiving spouse
- Ability of the paying spouse to pay
- Age and health of each spouse
- Standard of living
What else should I know about spousal support?
Because of the 2017 change in tax codes, spousal support is no longer tax-deductible for any divorce agreement signed after December 31, 2018.
Furthermore, if your income has changed significantly because of the pandemic and you are no longer able to pay for spousal support, seek legal advice. You can face legal consequences for stopping payments.
If you are in need of assistance for divorce or spousal support, Court Buddy can help you.
Court Buddy is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you at an affordable rate. The company assists with the management of your case and lawyer relationship. Your lawyer will assess your legal issue in a timely and confidential manner, explain why you need or do not need a lawyer, and only charge you for the legal services performed and associated out of pocket fees. This article is intended to convey general information and does not constitute legal advice.