Spousal Support

Spousal Support


It doesn’t have to get thorny.

When should you pay alimony? There are factors to consider by the judge in deciding whether alimony is appropriate. The court can order alimony if the spouse asking for alimony does not have enough to support himself and one of the following:

• If one spouse is convicted of committing family violence against the other spouse or the spouses’ child during the marriage,
• The spouse asking for support cannot make enough money for basic necessities because of a disability,
• The couple were married for over ten years, and the spouse asking for support cannot make enough money for basic necessities, or
• The spouse asking for support has custody of their child who is disabled.

All alimonies have a time limit by the law unless the spouse or spouses’ child has a disability. Otherwise, alimony can last no longer than:

• Five years if the marriage lasted less than ten years and the paying spouse committed an act of violence,
• Five years if the marriage lasted between ten to 20 years long,
• Seven years if the marriage lasted between 20 to 30 years long, and
• Ten years if the marriage lasted 30 years or longer.

The alimony will only  end before it’s termination date if one of the spouses passes, the spouse receiving alimony re-marries,mor if the court finds out the spouse receiving alimony living with someone they are romantically involved with.

With all this being said, alimony cannot be more than $5,000 or 20% of the spouse’s average gross monthly income. Whichever is less is what the other spouse will receive.

Be sure to check specifics for your state.


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  1. Thom Slade
    May 22, 09:54 Reply
    In the end of the day all divorce is a negotiation. The rules are in place to protect both parties, but depending on what your willing to give up to move on, you and your ex can define the short or long term agreement. It comes down to the rationality of both partners or their willingness to give, and where they draw the line. Fighting it out in court just means more legal fees. During one of the most emotional experiences of your life, being rational seems far from rational. Breath, come to the point of what you really need and can afford. Look to the future. If you have kids you'll be around each other for a long time. So keep your character intact and try to the right thing. You know what it is. Its just hard to do especially of you've been hurt. But try anyway and moveon positively. Thom
  2. Jason Clark
    June 06, 05:40 Reply
    Knowing about alimony and all is all fine, but I will pray to god that I never have to face the day where things go this far in my life. Why only me, I wouldn't like for any couple in the world to go through this ordeal. I have seen lives getting ruined, both mentally as well as financially, of many of my loved ones. Divorce is the most dreadful word in my dictionary. That being said, the information here about alimony and other legalities of Divorce in itself is really valuable.

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