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spousal support after divorce

Divorce is a difficult and uncertain time, especially when it comes to finances. You’ve grown accustomed to living on two incomes or being supported by your spouse’s earnings, and now that’s about to end. Fortunately, you may be able to get spousal support after divorce. Find out the basics of alimony and the factors that determine eligibility to help you navigate this aspect of ending your marriage.

What is Alimony?

Alimony or spousal support is a payment from one spouse to the other after their relationship ends. It’s intended to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a similar standard of living to what they were accustomed to during the marriage. The court decides who pays alimony and how much based on various factors about both spouses and their financial contributions during the marriage.

Can I Get Spousal Support After Divorce?

Here are some of the factors that help the court decide if one spouse should receive support from the other, along with the amount and duration of that support:

  • Current earnings and future earning capacities of each spouse
  • Sources of income, including wages, investments, and more
  • The division of assets and liabilities in the divorce
  • How long the couple was married before divorcing
  • The behavior of each spouse during the marriage
  • The age and physical, mental, and emotional health of both spouses
  • Financial or child-rearing contributions from one spouse during the marriage that allowed the other to further their education or career
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Property brought by one spouse to the marriage
  • Child custody arrangements

How Long Does Alimony Last?

Temporary alimony only lasts until the divorce is finalized, while rehabilitative alimony may last a few years. In marriages lasting over 20 years, permanent alimony could be awarded, which lasts until the recipient remarries or either ex-spouse dies.

As for the amount you can expect, alimony payments range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month. In some cases, alimony is awarded as a lump sum. Consult a legal expert for a better idea of what to expect in your situation.

What Disqualifies a Spouse from Receiving Spousal Support?

Certain marital misconduct may disqualify a spouse from receiving alimony, such as infidelity, reckless spending, or abandonment. Specifically, a dependent spouse may be barred from receiving alimony if they engaged in illicit sexual activities before the separation. However, if both spouses engaged in such behavior, the court might still award alimony at its discretion. Any condoning of misconduct by the supporting spouse may also be considered.

Seeking Legal Help

Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of spousal support, it’s important to consult a skilled divorce attorney who can help present evidence to the court and protect your rights. The Law Offices of Robert E. O’Connor, P.C. has been helping couples in Delaware County and Chester County navigate the divorce process for over 25 years. Our team will handle your case professionally to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us at (610) 566-1110 for a free consultation at our office in Media, PA.