Representing Your Point Of View In Spousal Support Hearings
Spousal support, formerly called alimony, is a system in which one former spouse pays money to the other. In the past, it was most often the husband that ended up paying spousal support to the wife, because husbands were historically the primary income earner in the family.
Over time, society has changed, and it has become the norm that both the husband and the wife have full-time jobs and earn significant incomes. Since the obligation to pay spousal support generally falls on the party with the higher income, it is now not uncommon for the wife to be ordered to pay spousal support to the husband.
The court will be interested in how long the two of you were married and the relative age and health of both parties.
Courts are also free to order payments following legal separation, not just divorce.
How Does Spousal Support Work?
Each case is different, and many things are considered when determining alimony. It can be court-ordered or agreed to by the spouses. Income, property, earning capacity and the duration of the marriage are all the factors that the court will consider. Whether or not you have kids is also important.
How Does The Court Determine Alimony?
There are many things the court looks at when determining what is fair. They will take a look at each spouse’s age, their financial standing, the standard of living during the marriage and the length of the marriage, among other things.
Can Alimony Payments Be Modified In The Future?
In some cases, the answer is yes, but not in all. Whether the court can modify a spousal support order depends on whether the terms of the original order give the court the authority to modify the spousal support obligation. If the original order does say that the court may modify the support obligation in the future, then the court may consider the current circumstances and determine if a modification is warranted. If the terms do not say that the court may modify the obligation, then the court has no authority to make a change. If the court does have the authority to modify the original spousal support obligation, it will consider whether there has been a change of circumstances, such as a significant change in a party’s income and the cause of that change to determine if a modification is appropriate.
There Was A New Federal Tax Bill That Was Passed. How Does This Affect Divorce And Spousal Support?
Under the new tax law, spousal support is no longer deductible from the payor’s income for tax purposes and it is no longer considered taxable income to the recipient. The new law only applies to spousal support orders that were issued after January 1, 2019. If you have a spousal support order that was issued prior to that date, the support remains deductible from the payor’s income and is still considered taxable income for the recipient.
We Are Both Working Full Time. Can I Still Expect Spousal Support?
Even if both parties have full-time jobs, the court will still often order spousal support if there is a significant disparity between the parties’ incomes.
Reach Out For Knowledgeable Spousal Support Guidance
You can see that every question must be answered in a way that supports your interests. Without professional representation, you might not know what a good answer or a bad answer sounds like. A great deal is at stake in spousal support deliberations — you owe it to your future to enter into them with discipline and an effective strategy.