Can You Claim Spousal Support During a Divorce?

Can You Claim Spousal Support During a Divorce?

January 6, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

The breakdown of a relationship throws up numerous practical issues, as well as emotional ones. When you separate from a spouse, you’ll need to decide whether one of you will stay in the family home, for example, and how your joint assets will be split. If you live in California and you’re looking to get sole custody and change your child’s name legally, you need to be prepared for what that entails.

Negotiating the terms of a divorce can be difficult, particularly if the split is an acrimonious one. That’s why it’s important to find out exactly what your rights are from the outset. Similarly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re well-represented so that your rights are enforced in court.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is paid by one spouse to another, during or following a divorce. Sometimes referred to as alimony, a spousal support payment is usually made once a month and is separate from any child support payments that may be agreed.

Under New Jersey law, there are five different types of spousal support:

  • Pendente lite: Temporary spousal support while the divorce proceedings are on-going
  • Limited duration: Temporary spousal support while the recipient takes agreed steps to become self-supporting
  • Rehabilitative: Temporary spousal support while the recipient acquires educational or job-related training to become self-supporting
  • Reimbursement: Temporary spousal support if the recipient supported their spouse through advanced education during the course of the marriage
  • Permanent: On-going spousal support if the recipient is unable to become self-supporting

As you can see, spousal support is rarely permanent. In most cases, spouses who receive financial support from their ex-partner will do so for a limited period of time, while they regain their financial independence.

How Do You Claim Spousal Support?

Whether spousal support is paid, and, if so, how much, will usually be decided during the course of your divorce proceedings. If you and your ex-partner come to an agreement, the court will typically approve it, without additional investigations being required.

However, if your spouse refuses to pay financial support, you’ll need to argue that you should be awarded it. With help from reputable divorce lawyers, like the Law firm of Dwyer, Bachman & Newman, you can argue that you are entitled to spousal support due to various factors that arose during the course of your marriage.

Who Is Eligible to Claim Spousal Support?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to who is eligible to claim spousal support. In this sense, the courts have a fair amount of leeway when it comes to making awards. However, there are certain factors which will be taken into account, such as:

  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • The ability of either spouse to pay
  • The health of either spouse
  • The earning capacity, professional standing, income, and education of each spouse
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage

With so many factors to consider, making a claim for spousal support isn’t always straightforward. Providing you have the right legal representation, you can ensure your rights are enforced and that you have the best chance of securing the financial support you’re entitled to.