POST SEPARATION SUPPORT & ALIMONY

Post separation support and alimony are forms of spousal support that can be awarded to provide financial assistance to a spouse in need, the “dependent spouse”. Spousal support is paid by what is referred to as the “supporting spouse”. 

When Can Spousal Support be Awarded? 

At any time after separation, and before a divorce is granted, the court may entertain a claim for post-separation support. A judge may require a hearing on the issue of post separation support, or it can be decided by written affidavits. Alimony claims on the other hand, if not settled by agreement, are decided by the court, generally after the Equitable Distribution claim has been decided. This ensures that the marital estate distributed in an equitable distribution action is also taken into consideration for an alimony award. 

How is Spousal Support determined? 

Unlike child support there is no calculator that determines an amount of spousal support. The amount and duration of an award of post separation support and alimony are unique to facts of each individual case. In order to receive post-separation support or alimony, a finding of dependency by a court is not required. In awarding spousal support, the court must take into account a number of economic factors.  They include:

  • misconduct of either spouse
  • earnings and earning capacity of each spouse
  • length of the marriage
  • obligations to support minor children
  • assets and liabilities of the spouses 
  • contributions of one spouse to the earning potential of the other 
  • ages, physical, mental or emotional conditions of each spouse
  • reasonable needs and financial obligations of each spouse
  • any other factor the court deems appropriate

How Long will spousal support last? 

Post separation-support is temporary and ends upon the determination of alimony. Alimony, when ordered by a court, terminates automatically upon the occurrence of the first of the following events:

  • when all payments specified have been made, payments can be made in monthly installments or in a lump sum amount;
  • the dependent spouse remarries or engages in cohabitation with a romantic partner; or
  • The death of either the dependent spouse or supporting spouse.

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Can an Alimony Order be modified? 

It is possible to have the Court modify an Alimony Order that is permanent in nature. In order for the court to consider a modification, a change in economic circumstances would need to be shown. An experienced attorney can help you determine the options available to you to change the terms of your alimony order. 

If you are a dependant spouse seeking financial assistance from your spouse, or if you are a supporting spouse defending against a spousal support claim,  the family law and divorce attorneys at GHMA | LAW are dedicated to assist you in exploring all the options available. Spousal support awards can have long term implications for both spouses that must be considered, especially in a complex divorce cases. 

Patrick McCroskey and Janet Amburgey are both board-certified specialists in family law and have worked with hundreds upon hundreds of divorcing spouses. They have extensive experience in negotiating settlements and advocating for clients in trial, if necessary.  They understand the financial burden that divorce has on families and can provide compassionate and effective counsel to help you achieve a fair award of spousal support. To ensure that your interests are protected call us for a consultation at 828-258-3368 or use the contact form to connect with your alimony attorney today. 

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POST SEPARATION SUPPORT & ALIMONY

Post separation support and alimony are forms of spousal support that can be awarded to provide financial assistance to a spouse in need, the “dependent spouse”. Spousal support is paid by what is referred to as the “supporting spouse”. 

When Can Spousal Support be Awarded? 

At any time after separation, and before a divorce is granted, the court may entertain a claim for post-separation support. A judge may require a hearing on the issue of post separation support, or it can be decided by written affidavits. Alimony claims on the other hand, if not settled by agreement, are decided by the court, generally after the Equitable Distribution claim has been decided. This ensures that the marital estate distributed in an equitable distribution action is also taken into consideration for an alimony award. 

How is Spousal Support determined? 

Unlike child support there is no calculator that determines an amount of spousal support. The amount and duration of an award of post separation support and alimony are unique to facts of each individual case. In order to receive post-separation support or alimony, a finding of dependency by a court is not required. In awarding spousal support, the court must take into account a number of economic factors.  They include:

  • misconduct of either spouse
  • earnings and earning capacity of each spouse
  • length of the marriage
  • obligations to support minor children
  • assets and liabilities of the spouses 
  • contributions of one spouse to the earning potential of the other 
  • ages, physical, mental or emotional conditions of each spouse
  • reasonable needs and financial obligations of each spouse
  • any other factor the court deems appropriate

How Long will spousal support last? 

Post separation-support is temporary and ends upon the determination of alimony. Alimony, when ordered by a court, terminates automatically upon the occurrence of the first of the following events:

  • when all payments specified have been made, payments can be made in monthly installments or in a lump sum amount;
  • the dependent spouse remarries or engages in cohabitation with a romantic partner; or
  • The death of either the dependent spouse or supporting spouse.

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Common Questions & Concerns

We will do everything possible to structure your case so that you may obtain the best legal result. Punishing your spouse or winning an all-out, no holds-barred victory, however, is an unrealistic and unattainable goal. Your attorney's job is to represent your best interests, and to achieve the best resolution for you. His job is not to serve as your avenger. He cannot give you retribution for the sins of your spouse. If you enter this process expecting revenge and retribution, you will be sorely disappointed and unhappy with your attorney, yourself, and the outcome of your case, no matter how favorable that outcome may be to you. Before beginning the attorney-client relationship, you should make every effort to put your priorities in order, and realize that there are some things the legal system cannot provide.

Most people share the same fears, questions, and beliefs about divorce. The following are some of the most common of these fears, questions and beliefs.

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