How To Calculate Spousal Support

by Laura Gillis Law Office • October 26, 2023

Navigating the intricacies of spousal support during a divorce or legal separation can be daunting. Yet, understanding how support payments are calculated can empower individuals to make informed decisions. At The Law Offices of Laura Gillis, we aim to demystify the process with this comprehensive guide.

Spousal Maintenance Agreement

Understanding Spousal Support

Spousal support, often referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, is a financial obligation one spouse may be required to pay the other following a divorce or separation. The amount and duration vary based on numerous factors and can either be temporary or long-term.

Factors Affecting Spousal Support Amounts

Courts consider a list of factors when determining the necessary support. Some of the prominent ones include:

  • The length of marriage: A longer marriage might warrant higher support.

  • The needs of each party: This evaluates the lower earning spouse's income, expenses, and the lifestyle maintained during the marriage.

  • The capacity of each party to earn: If one spouse has a considerably higher income, it might affect the amount.

  • Domestic violence: If there’s a history, it can influence court decisions.

  • Dependent children: Child support and spousal support sometimes intertwine, especially when evaluating the financial needs of the household.

The Role of Spousal Maintenance Calculators

Spousal maintenance calculators provide a basic spousal support calculation. By inputting the number representing both parties' earnings, length of marriage, and other pertinent details, they offer an estimated support obligation. However, these tools only provide a starting point. For a more nuanced understanding, seeking a free consultation with experienced family law attorneys is invaluable.

Temporary vs. Long-Term Spousal Support

Temporary Spousal Support: Often awarded during the divorce process, temporary support helps the lower-earning spouse maintain their standard of living. The amount is often determined by assessing basic necessities.

Long-Term Spousal Support: This type of support comes into play post-divorce. It's especially common in cases where one party might have sacrificed their career or educational opportunities. The duration can vary but is frequently linked to the length of the marriage.

How Much Support? Using Court Guidelines

While alimony calculators offer general numbers, courts use specific support guidelines. These guidelines factor in:

  • The financial reports of both parties

  • The amount of child support if children are involved

  • The needs and financial capacity of each party

Consulting a Divorce Attorney

A divorce attorney is invaluable in a family law matter. They can offer examples, help with understanding court-ordered spousal maintenance, and even assist in exploring options for other forms of support. At The Law Offices of Laura Gillis, our team is dedicated to ensuring that you're equipped with the knowledge and resources to navigate the complex terrain of spousal and child support.

Determining how much spousal support one might be entitled to or obligated to pay is not always straightforward. Courts consider various factors, from the length of the marriage to the specific needs of each party. While tools like alimony calculators provide basic estimates, it’s essential to consult with a family law professional to get an accurate picture tailored to individual circumstances.

Schedule A Consultation With Our Expert Attorneys Today!

For all your questions and a detailed discussion of your specific situation, do not hesitate to reach out at The Law Offices of Laura Gillis at 602-277-4736. We're here to guide you every step of the way.