Burke Levy, P.C.

Who pays spousal support

In many divorce cases, one of the partners will more than likely ask for alimony, or spousal support, after the ending of a marriage. Depending on each spouse's individual earnings, the primary breadwinner of the family will more than likely be liable for spousal support to the other. Whatever the case may be, Massachusetts spouses going through a divorce are advised to understand exactly how spousal support is determined by the courts.

The purpose of spousal support is to provide the lower-wage earning spouse an extra income after the divorce. This entitlement, awarded by the court, is used to maintain the current standard of living or to provide financial assistance for an education or job training for the spouse who held off his or her personal career in order to raise the family. When determining who should receive spousal support, the court will consider and compare multiple factors such as age, physical condition, emotional state, economic situation, length of marriage and capability of paying the support.

Determining the amount to be paid, along with how long the support should be paid, can be challenging. Unless a termination date is specified in the divorce ruling, payments will continue to be made until the court determines when they should stop. In most cases, spousal support is usually made until the receiving spouse passes away or gets remarried.

Going through a divorce can be exhausting for anyone. When the issue of spousal support is thrown in, it can become even more challenging. With the guidance of experienced legal counsel, Massachusetts spouses may be able to better understand all their options and the potential impact that paying or receiving spousal support could have on their future.

Source: marriage.com, "How Is Spousal Support Determined?", Accessed on Feb. 27, 2018

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