Receiving Spousal Support – The Duration Timeline

Divorce agreement. Wife and husband can not make settlementWhen you are in the midst of a divorce, spousal support may be one of the points of interest on your mind. Let’s say that you are somebody who has been out of the working world for quite some time – how will you survive financially on your own? To some extent, this is why alimony exists – to help you survive on that level. In some situations, you may have even wondered if divorce was worth it because you would possibly lose everything financially and have some questions about it. Now we can help you understand how long you could receive spousal support and what this means to you and your lifestyle.

Lifestyle Questions

As with anything pertaining to divorce, there will be a lot of questions. Here are some of the questions that you or your spouse may be asked that will help make a determination of how long you should receive spousal support when all is said and done:

  • Is your spouse able to provide you with financial support while maintaining a standard of living for himself or herself? Will it be about the same as when you were married?
  • What are the post-divorce monthly expenses estimated to be?
  • Was a career put on hold during marriage in order to support the other spouse’s career, professional development, or business development?
  • Was one spouse supported during the marriage while the other was able to complete advanced training?
  • Are there any non-health related limitations such as child care responsibilities or extended absence from the job market?

There are many guidelines put in place that will determine if you will receive alimony and how long it will actually last. States awarding rehabilitative alimony or long term/permanent support is actually very rare. Many states do not provide guidelines that will show how long you should be married before alimony is given. However, they will be unlikely to award it at all if the marriage wasn’t at least a few years long or there is nothing preventing the spouse from going to work.

So how long will the support last? 

There is really no tell-all answer to this. Each state will make different determinations and each family is different. Spousal support, however, is considered to be “rehabilitative” to a spouse and will usually be ordered as long as necessary for the spouse to receive training and become self-supporting. The divorce decree may be helpful in telling each former spouse when the support will terminate and what measures must be met before this occurs. If it doesn’t, then the payments will continue until the court orders otherwise.

Life changes can also help make the determination of how long the payments will last. If the partner remarries, then there is a good chance that the awards will end. If the spouse has health problems, they may last indefinitely to care for those troubles because the spouse will generally never be able to enter back into the workforce and help themselves.

If you have a question about spousal support or believe it may be the best option for you, give us a call today to speak to an experienced attorney. At The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, we are there to help you in this delicate time in your life.