Spousal support is an important protection for those who earned less throughout a marriage or who have fewer opportunities for work immediately after divorce. The support is designed to help people boost their income following a divorce and to support them as they go back to school or find work.
Most types of spousal support are rehabilitative, meaning that they are temporary and intended to work as a support for a short time. For people who have been married for decades and who are older, permanent alimony is still possible but less common than it used to be.
Some people don't want to receive spousal support because of the continued connection with their ex-spouse. However, it's a good idea to take the support if it's awarded, because it's needed. There are some ways to cut down on the number of times you'll have to talk with your ex-spouse after the court order.
How is spousal support paid?
One way that spousal support can be paid is through a lump-sum payment. This payment is an alternative to traditional monthly payments. The payment has to add up to what you would have received over time, but it can then be paid all at once.
This is a great way to resolve spousal support concerns, because you won't have to worry about collecting support in the future and don't have to have interactions with your ex-spouse for that purpose.
Another way to pay support is through monthly payments. These are normally fixed payments that are sent to your bank account. This can be less advantageous, since there is always the risk of the other party not paying suddenly.
Who decides how much alimony you get?
In many instances, the judge determines what's fair for alimony. However, you and your estranged spouse have the opportunity to decide how much is fair on your own. If you can't agree, you can work with a mediator to determine how much is fair. If that also doesn't work, then a judge can issue the support order for the amount that they believe is fair.
It's a good idea to sit down with your attorney and your budget, so you can decide how much alimony you need in the coming months or years. With that information in hand, you'll be better able to negotiate and support your reasoning for the amount of alimony that you're requesting from your spouse.