How Much Spousal Support Do I Have To Pay?

Many divorcing spouses are concerned about how the divorce will affect them financially. The division of property and assets often has a significant financial impact on both spouse. If one spouse is to receive child support or spousal support, this has further financial implications for the spouse who pays these. A divorcing spouse may want to know how much spousal support do I have to pay.

Not all divorces include spousal support. Each state has different laws regarding spousal support. In general, spousal support is to provide financial assistance to the divorced spouse that does not have enough income to be self-supporting. Spousal support is typically associated with a payment that the ex-husband gives his ex-wife, but there are times that the ex-wife must pay spousal support to her ex-husband.

In some states, if there is to be spousal support is based on whether or not one spouse has a legitimate need for it. Spousal support may be considered “temporary maintenance” or “permanent maintenance.” Temporary maintenance is alimony that is to be short term financial assistance. The court will often set a date for the end of the temporary alimony to end. The temporary alimony may not end automatically at that date. A new hearing may be in order to determine if the temporary alimony needs to be continued.

Permanent alimony is possible, but it is a rare occurrence. Permanent alimony may be part of a divorce agreement if both parties agree to it as part of the negotiations, if the marriage was lengthy, or if the spouse with the financial need has no realistic opportunities for employment.

The amount of spousal support is determined by the person’s ability to pay and the financial needs of the spouse with lower income. The divorcing spouses may agree to an amount or the court may use judicial discretion to calculate spousal support. A formula to determine how much alimony a spouse gets is rarely used.

A divorcing spouse who is expected to pay spousal support has several options if the divorcing spouses can agree. In some cases, a divorcing spouse who is to pay alimony may want to offer permanent alimony for a much smaller monthly amount than what would be expected for temporary alimony. Though the person will continue to pay alimony, the smaller amount may be ideal if paying a larger amount would cause financial limitations or sacrifices that the divorcing spouse is not willing to do.

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