Spousal support, which is known by a variety of other names such as alimony or spousal maintenance, is often a major part of the divorce settlement. If you are a resident of Florida and are going through a divorce, you will benefit from understanding how spousal support works.
What is the purpose of spousal support?
The purpose of spousal support is to allow both spouses to continue the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage. Depending on the financial situation of each person after the divorce, spousal support might be necessary. Interestingly, a spouse who both earned significantly more during the marriage and was also the primary caretaker of the children might need to pay spousal support to their ex but might also receive child support from their ex, as these two types of support or completely separate.
How long does spousal support last?
In the past, spousal support was often granted for the life of the payor. However, it is now more common for spousal support to be awarded temporarily, as the spouses adapt to the changes. Some of the reasons why spousal support tends to be temporary include:
- More women have joined the workforce
- Couples often earn similarly and in some cases, the wife might be the primary earner
- Cultural and societal shifts regarding gender roles
- Individual needs for additional financial support can change over time
What if your circumstances change?
Spousal support orders can be modified if the situation under which they were granted significantly changes. For example, if the person paying loses their job or the person receiving loses their job, either spouse might argue for a change. Spousal support might be decreased or might even stop altogether.
Spousal support might not be the answer to all financial challenges after a divorce. However, it can help people maintain balance and security as they move forward in their separate lives.