What Is the Point of Spousal Support?

Spousal support is a big issue in a variety of different divorce cases. Many spouses will ask for spousal support, especially if the spouse dos not have a job and formerly worked as the homemaker at the couple's house. In many cases, this is the woman who may have stayed home with young children while the father provided an income. At the same time, many fathers are becoming the stay-at-home spouse in some relationships, and contrary to popular belief they can also petition for alimony / spousal support.

Temporary spousal support is often decided at an Order to Show Cause Hearing that is scheduled because one spouse is making far less than the other. The court considers a lot of things when deciding on spousal support. They will look at what both spouses are earning and both spouses' earning capacities. The courts will then note any sacrifices that one spouse had to make for another and how those sacrifices (such as dropping out of college or giving up a career path) have affected the individual's wellbeing.

Spousal support is intended to provide the spouse that earns less with a sufficient income to make up the quality of life that was sustained prior to the marriage. In some spousal support arrangements, the court will take pains to make sure that the petitioner's life will be consistent after divorce. Spousal support can last until an individual passes away or remarries, but the court can also arrange temporary spousal support decisions which terminate at a future date. If the support receiving spouse played the role of a homemaker, he or she may be eventually expected to find a job and become self-sustaining. Spousal support can bridge the gap between divorce and the time that the individual is able to secure a new job.