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Many factors impact spousal support

There are some divorces that include one party asking that the other party pay alimony. This isn't something that is done automatically. If you think that you are due spousal support or if your ex is asking for this monetary support, you might have some questions about what factors determine alimony eligibility.

One of the primary factors that can impact the suitability of spousal support is the ability of the paying party to afford support. Alimony isn't anything like child support. The court isn't going to expect a person to pay more than what they can honestly afford. There aren't any minimum payments amounts that must be paid like there are with child support payments.

Another factor that comes into the picture is whether the party requesting the payments actually needs them. If the person can't support himself or herself, there is a good chance that spousal support will be approved. If the person can support themselves through an income from a job or investments, there is a good chance that the petition for spousal support will be denied.

The standard of living that was provided during the marriage is also considered, as is the length of the marriage. The length of the marriage is important because it shows how committed each party was to the marriage. The standard of living is important because it can determine how much support the petitioning party should receive. For example, you wouldn't expect a person accustomed to living a $500,000 standard of living to make do with $50,000 a year, but you also wouldn't expect a person making $50,000 a year to provide a $500,000 standard of living.

When it comes to spousal support, thinking clearly about the situation might help you to determine how a petition might be answered. No matter what, make sure that you are taking steps to protect your own interests.

Source: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, "What you need to know right now about spousal support -- in the United States and Canada.," Nancy Kurn, CPA, CDFA®, JD, MBA, accessed Sep. 27, 2017

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