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Spousal Support

Contrary to popular belief, spousal support is not automatically awarded to the spouse requesting it.

Temporary spousal support can be requested at the same time that the petition for dissolution is filed, the same as child support.

One of the main factors that the court will take into consideration in determining whether spousal support should be ordered is the standard of living during the marriage.The court will attempt to award spousal support sufficient to enable both parties to live the same life style as they enjoyed during the marriage.If they both earn equal income, however, then most likely the life style of each will spiral down to some degree and neither party will be ordered to pay spousal support unless there is a large disparity in income.

The court will also take the following factors into consideration:

The marketable skills of the supported spouse, the job market for those skills, the education or training needed to develop marketable skills, and the need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment;

The impairment of present or future earning capacity due to periods of unemployment during the marriage devoted to domestic duties;

The contribution of the supported spouse to enable the other spouse to the attain education, training, a career or a professional license;

The ability of the paying spouse to make support payments taking into account his/her earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living;

The obligations and assets of each spouse;

The duration of the marriage;

The ability of the supported spouse to be employed without unduly interfering with child care responsibilities; and

The age and health of the respective spouses.

In a short-term marriage, spousal support usually lasts for one-half of the duration of the marriage.  In long-term marriages, it can be argued that it should last until either death of remarriage of the recipient.

Health Insurance

At the time the Summons and Petition are filed, a restraining order goes into effect that neither party can cancel a health insurance policy under which either party is covered.  Pre-existing health insurance must be maintained until a final judgment is entered.  If the spouse providing spousal support removes the other spouse from coverage prior to a final judgment being entered, you can go to court and ask the judge to make an order to the providing spouse to reinstate the coverage.

All of the issues that a person may face during a divorce are not addressed here. If you have any specific questions pertaining to your divorce, please click here.