Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


divorce spousal support


Divorce spousal support depends completely on the decision of the court if there is no pre-marriage agreement on the matter. As there is no set guideline on divorce spousal support like the child support, the decision to order a spousal support completely rests with the local court that is holding the divorce case. The law for the divorce spousal support essentially differs from state to state and hence there is no set rules for deciding whether there should be spousal support or not. But generally divorce spousal support is ordered where one spouse is economically weaker than the other or has no means of earning his or her living. There are so many other factors as well that are considered by the court for deciding which type of spousal support is required and what should be amount of the spousal support.

Basically there are two types of spousal support – temporary spousal support and permanent spousal support. The temporary spousal support is ordered by the court for specific period of time and with definite termination clauses. This type of alimony or spousal support automatically ceases after the specified period of time or when one of the mentioned clauses are met. The rehabilitative alimony is also a type of temporary spousal support that is given to incur the expenses of education or training of the other spouse so that he or she can start earning the living. The ‘pendente lite’ alimony, which is ordered by the court to pay during the process of the divorce, automatically gets terminated when the divorce litigation comes to an end.

On the other hand the permanent spousal support needs to be paid until one of the following,
  • The payer is dead. The heir or heiress of the payer’s fortune does not need to pay the alimony.
  • The recipient of the alimony gets married.
  • The recipient of the alimony starts to live with another partner.
Other than these, the payer of the permanent alimony has to keep on paying the spousal support periodically as directed by the court. Of course the amount of the alimony that was decided by the court can increase or decrease depending on the payer or the recipient and finally on the court’s decision under different circumstances. Apart from these two types of divorce spousal support, the divorcing spouses can also come to an agreement where one of the spouses pays the alimony at one go as a lump sum payment. This is beneficial for both the spouses as there is no long term commitment involved in this and they can plan their finance accordingly. For deciding which one of the divorcing spouses will pay the spousal support and who will get it and the amount of the alimony the court takes the account of the age of the spouses, duration of the marriage, living standards, income of both the parties, health conditions and the reasons of the divorce. As each couple has unique social status, living standards and economic condition the decision of the divorce spousal support also depends on the circumstances for each couple.


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