Should you ask for spousal support when getting a divorce?

Sometimes, people may be shy about requesting spousal support as part of their divorce agreement. They might have concerns that doing so will make them look lazy or greedy. However, if you’ve made sacrifices in your relationship to benefit your ex, you deserve to receive financial support. You should also think about requesting spousal support if your divorce will significantly impact your personal finances.

Why does spousal support exist?

Spousal support doesn’t exist for spiteful individuals who are looking to hurt their ex’s bank accounts. The purpose behind spousal support is that it’s designed to help a dependent person become independent. Maybe you left a promising career behind to raise your children. If so, spousal support payments can enable you to go back to school or invest in areas that will help you become a viable candidate for employment. If your ex makes significantly more than you, support payments can serve as a bridge until you can become more financially dependent.

Factors used in spousal support determinations

Spousal support determinations are something of a mystery. Unlike child support cases, there are no clear guidelines to determine how much a person can expect to receive. You must show some level of financial dependence on your ex. If you are both working and bring in similar amounts of income, your request will probably be turned down. How much you will receive and for how long depends on several factors, including:

  • The length of your marriage
  • The needs of each party
  • A party’s ability to pay spousal support
  • Job prospects

Permanent orders for spousal support are rare, although they do happen. Because spousal support determinations can vary, you should work closely with a skilled legal professional who can help you assert your interests.