Q 1: What is spousal support / alimony?
Spousal support is also known as Alimony. The laws that surround spousal support is meant to prevent a divorced spouse from facing issues that would make his or her standard of living to get reduced.
Spousal support is the term used for money paid by one spouse to the other after divorce, so that both partners can enjoy the same standard of living that did prior to their divorce. Spousal support is usually paid for variety of reasons, and in various ways, but the major reason is to assist the lower income spouse with his or her living expenses.
Q 2: Who can get spousal support?
The spousal support law is a bit convoluted. There are different factors that determine who is eligible for spousal support, the amount to be paid and the manner of the payment. Both female and male are eligible to apply for spousal support irrespective of whether they were in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship.
Q 3: Can I get spousal support if I didn’t have children with my ex-husband?
Whether you had children together or not when married, you may be entitled to receive spousal support. However, for partners that have children, the payment of child support takes precedence over payment of alimony.
Q 4: Do all divorces or separations involve spousal support?
Not all separations or divorce cases involve payment of alimony. The percentages of divorces or separations that include spousal support as part of the final divorce judgment are only about 15 percent.
Q 5: Why should I bother about payment of spousal support?
Spousal support is frequently the biggest financial responsibility you will have to shoulder as part of a divorce. You may end up paying spousal support for decades if you are not proactive enough.
Q 6: How does the court arrive at a spousal support payment?
The court may make use a computer program to estimate a temporary spousal support amount prior to the trial. However, the court is not allowed to use that parameter for permanent determination of alimony amount.
Q 7: Can I stop paying support when I retire?
You are eligible to retire at age 65 and are not expected to work to support your spouse after that age. However, if you had a reason that made you retire early, you may be able to convince the court that you don’t have to pay alimony beyond your retirement age.
Q 8: I’m about to get a boost in my income. Will the increase affect the alimony I pay?
The court does not include any earnings you make after divorce in the calculation of amount to be paid alimony under a case known as Hoffmeister II.
Q 9: If my income gets reduced, can the amount of spousal support be reduced?
Yes; if you involuntarily lost your job or stopped making earning as much as you did, then the amount you pay as alimony gets reduced or might even be terminated completely.
Q 10: My ex-spouse is soon to get big raise. Can I pay less after that?
Yes; if the supported spouse starts to earn more, you may be able to get the court to either terminate or reduce your alimony amount.
Q 11: Does the sharing of assets between spouses have an effect on spousal support?
Yes; if your spouse received considerable amount of assets, or if you make noteworthy equalization payments after a while, it should be considered as a justifying factor against payment of spousal support.
Q 12: Will I get any tax relief by paying for spousal support?
The spouse who pays spousal support is usually given tax relief while the receiver pays tax on the support received.
Q 13: My ex-spouse has started cohabiting with another lover. Will this affect the amount of spousal support I pay?
Yes; when your ex-spouse starts to cohabitate with another lover, you may be able to lower or entirely abate the payment of spousal support.
Q 14: My ex-spouse is about to re-marry. Can this affect payment of spousal support?
Yes; you are no longer responsible to pay any more spousal support as soon as he or she re-marries.