While some partners may believe that they are entitled to spousal support, their counterparts may believe they don’t deserve it. The truth is you shouldn’t have to deal with this complex legal subject alone. Let a reliable family lawyer guide you. Before you file for spousal support, here are some essential things you need to know.

1. Entitlement

No one can receive spousal support without being entitled to it. There are many different types of entitlements to spousal support. These include:

Contractual Support: This is when both parties agree that one spouse is eligible to spousal support if the need arises. If this exists, you have no other option than to oblige.

Compensatory Support: This is often the case when one party had to forgo education, a career or earning opportunities due to the part they had to play in the relationship, such as staying home to raise children. One of the reasons for compensatory support is to prevent one spouse from bearing a heavy financial burden due to the role the spouse played during the marriage.

Non-Compensatory Support: This happens when one spouse faces financial difficulty immediately after the marriage dissolution. Spousal support helps the affected party become self-sufficient. For more information, Matrimonial Home may be a good place to gather additional resources.

2. Amount Payable

If a spouse is entitled to spousal support, the next line of action is to determine the amount payable. The amount payable is determined using the income of each spouse. This will produce a specific range of the amount payable for spousal support. Depending on the outcome, spousal support can fall in any of the following categories – the low, middle or high end of the range. Before determining the amount payable, one has to take into account many different factors. These include roles in the relationship, income levels, and earning potential of the spouse, among others.

3. Duration

Now that entitlement and amount payable have been determined, the next thing to consider is duration. Many people paying spousal support often ask this question: Just how long do I have to pay? It won’t last forever. The duration of support is typically determined by how long the relationship lasted. A short-term relationship of no more than 20 years usually produces a duration of 0.5 to 1.0 times the number of years of the marriage. For instance, if a relationship lasted for 14 years, the spousal support duration ranges from 7 to 14 years. A long-term relationship, on the other hand, produces an indefinite term. In this case, it can be reviewed when certain conditions are met such as when the spouse receiving support gets married to another individual.

4. Is Spousal Support Mandatory?

Unlike child support, spousal support is not automatic. For this reason, you can negotiate spousal support, particularly when you have assets to divide. To do this, you need the backing of a professional family lawyer. Also, if there is enough equity available, spousal support can be paid at once. This way, you don’t have to deal with the monthly support. However, while monthly support is tax deductible, a lump sum is not.

If you need help with spousal support, contact a family lawyer. They will guide you through the entire process, so you don’t make costly mistakes along the way.