Spousal support (or "spousal maintenance" or "alimony) are payments by one ex-spouse to the other. These payments are meant to ensure that the spouse that was dependent on the other for support during the marriage is not left destitute by a divorce. What this means for you is that you can challenge your ex-spouse?s attempt to secure spousal support orders. Whether or not you are successful or reduce the payment demand depends on several factors. This article will go over some of those factors and how you may challenge them.
The burden is on your spouse to submit sufficient evidence that they require support to maintain their standard of living. Generally, this breaks down into the following categories: education, work history, ability to work and standard of living. Your ex-spouse must also submit evidence regarding your ability to pay and your work history. This article will address the first four factors.
First, your spouse must submit evidence of their education pre- and post-marriage. This means all degrees, classes (including community college), certification courses and technical classes. If your ex-spouse omits from their declaration that they obtained certain certifications or took classes, then you may counter with evidence of those classes.
Next, the court will consider your spouse's work history. Their prior wage or salary points to their potential income when they return to work. It also evidences their ability to work.
In connection with the above two categories, your ex-spouse must attest to their work limitations. Your ex-spouse may submit evidence of any medical illnesses or disabilities that preclude or reduce their ability to work. Additionally, your ex-spouse may submit evidence that he or she stays home to care for a dependent, goes to school or has some other limitation that reduces the opportunity to work.
At all times, you will want to review your ex-spouse?s declarations and evidence for accuracy. If you spot any differences, then you may want to speak with an attorney to help you through the process. Spousal support is automatic but if your ex-spouse sacrificed his or her career for the benefit of the family or your career, then it is possible that you may be ordered to pay support.