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10 Things That Can Affect Your Spousal Support

Spousal support or alimony has been around for centuries to provide financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse after a divorce. However, the amount and duration of spousal support payments can vary greatly based on several factors. This blog post will explore some factors that can affect the spousal support agreement.

Understanding Spousal Support: Its Impact on Marriage

Spousal support payments are commonly known as alimony, an arrangement made after the termination of a marriage or civil partnership, where one party pays the other a sum of money to cover living expenses. The concept of spousal support is based on the notion that marriage is an economic partnership, so when it ends, one partner might require financial assistance from the other. Support payments are not mandatory and are often voluntary or court-mandated, depending on the situation.

Lump Sum Payments

Lump sum payment is given once the divorce is finalized or in installments over some time, depending on the agreement between the parties involved.

Installment Payments

It can be discussed in advance and laid out in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, providing clarity and security for both parties.

The amount of spousal support typically depends on several factors, such as the length of the marriage, earning power, assets of both parties, standard of living, and health. It can sometimes lead to aggression between partners, creating additional problems and frustrations. On the other hand, support payments can provide:

  • A much-needed cushion for the recipient’s spouse
  • Helping them get back on their feet after the separation
  • Leading to a more amicable termination of the marriage

Spousal support can also result in an imbalance of power and further lead to dependency, which can be difficult for the recipient spouse. Consequently, leading to a loss of independence, self-worth, and confidence, which can ultimately lead to an unhappy marriage or tension.

The impact of spousal support can be negative or positive, depending on how the parties involved manage it, and it is always best to seek advice and guidance from a family law attorney in Houston. Spousal support can be modified, increased, or terminated under different circumstances, and it is essential to be aware of the legal procedures and implications involved. For instance, if the receiving party moves on with their life and their income increases, spousal support may be terminated, and regardless of what has been paid so far, the agreement can only be changed or renewed in court.

Support payments can significantly impact a marriage before, during, and after divorce; however, it depends on how the parties handle it. It is always advisable to seek legal guidance from an expert divorce lawyer when navigating this issue to avoid making costly mistakes. Understanding spousal support, its types, and what it entails can help individuals make informed decisions when the time comes. When marriage ends, the right advice can be incredibly valuable.

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10 Factors that Can Affect Spousal Support

1. The Length of Marriage

One of the most significant factors that can affect spousal support is the length of the marriage. The longer a couple has been married, the more likely that spousal support will be awarded. This is because the lower-earning spouse may have become accustomed to a certain standard of living and would struggle to support themselves immediately after the divorce.

2. Change in Living Situation

If either spouse moves out of the marital home and into their residence, this could lead to an adjustment in the amount of paid support. Additionally, if either spouse remarries or cohabitates with another person, this could also lead to changes in the amount of spousal support being paid as their financial situation has changed.

3. Change in Financial Circumstances

Spousal support is often awarded based on the financial circumstances of both parties. If either spouse experiences a significant increase or decrease in income, this can lead to an adjustment in the amount of paid spousal support. For example, if one spouse loses their job, they may be entitled to more spousal support as they can now not financially support themselves. On the other hand, if one spouse receives a large raise, they may be required to pay more in spousal support as their income has increased.

4. Employment Prospects

The employment prospects of the lower-earning spouse can also play a role in spousal support agreements. If the lower-earning spouse has a good chance of finding a job and supporting themselves after the divorce, the amount and duration of spousal support may be less than if they have little to no employment prospects.

A child with their parents

4. Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody arrangements can also affect how much money is paid each month for spousal support since courts typically consider who will have primary physical custody when deciding on what amount should be paid each month by one parent for childcare expenses and general living expenses associated with raising children (e.g., rent/mortgage payments).

5. Cost of Living Adjustment

Courts sometimes may order periodic cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for spousal support payments. This means that the amount of money being paid will be adjusted each year based on changes in the cost-of-living index, such as inflation or wage increases. This ensures that both spouses can maintain their standard of living despite changes in economic conditions over time.

6. Unforeseen Events

In some cases, unforeseen events can also cause fluctuations in support payments. For example, if either spouse experiences a medical emergency or an unexpected financial hardship such as job loss or bankruptcy, this could lead to an adjustment in the amount of money paid each month for spousal support purposes.

8. Age and Retirement

Both spouses’ age and retirement status can also affect how much money is paid each month for support. For example, if one spouse reaches retirement age before the other does, this could lead to an adjustment being made so that both spouses can maintain their standard of living despite any differences between them regarding age and retirement status.

9. Health Issues

The health of both spouses can also be considered when determining the amount of payments to be made. If the receiving spouse has health issues that prevent them from working or supporting themselves, they may receive more spousal support. Similarly, if the receiving spouse is significantly older and has limited earning potential, they may receive spousal support for longer.

10. Marital Misconduct

In some cases, spousal support may be affected by marital misconduct. If one spouse was unfaithful or engaged in behavior detrimental to the marriage, they may be ordered to pay more spousal support as compensation.

A couple discussing matters

Connect with Daniel Ogbeide Law Today!

Several factors can influence spousal support agreements. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to understand how these factors may affect your payments and support agreement. If you’re living in Houston, it is also recommended to seek the advice of a family court lawyer who can provide expert guidance and help you navigate the complex legal process of divorce.

Connect with the expert spousal support attorneys in Houston today! Contact us today to learn more!

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