What Determines Spousal Support During a Divorce?

Are you currently going through a divorce, and are concerned about how spousal support will work? It's important to not make any assumptions about how spousal support will be determined. Here are the factors that are used to determine the amount of spousal support that will be awarded. 

The Length Of The Marriage

How long you and your spouse have been married will have a big impact on how long one person will pay spousal support to the other person. As you can imagine, a long marriage will result in a longer period of spousal support payments, and a short marriage will result in a short period. There is no guideline that so many years of marriage will result in a specific amount of years of spousal support, but it is heavily factored in when determining the length of payments. 

The Earning Capacity

It's important to look at the earning capacity of each spouse, as opposed to what each person is earning at the time of the divorce. One spouse may be earning more money than the other person, but both people have a high earning capacity. This is especially true if one spouse has not been working for a while, but will be reentering the workforce and be able to resume their high earning capacity. 

However, there could be a situation where a spouse has not had much education and has been out of the workforce for a while. This can make it difficult for them to get a job and start working again, or they need to get additional education to increase their earning capacity. A judge would award more spousal support to help that person out.

The Standard Of Living

A judge will also look at how a couple lived together during the marriage in terms of their standard of living. It is a factor that is incredibly subjective, but it is important to keep in mind. If a couple had a high standard of living due to one person being a high earner, that would be reflected in spousal support payments. That is because it would not be considered fair for one spouse to maintain that same lifestyle while the other is only given the bare minimum to get by. 

These are just some of the factors that are considered when determining spousal support. Reach out to a divorce law firm such as Hart Law Offices, PC to learn about what else is considered that could complicate matters, such as marital misconduct.