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Woodbridge Spousal Support Lawyer

When a couple divorces, one spouse may feel an unequal financial burden. In these cases, the court may determine a spousal support arrangement where one spouse must pay the other spouse financial support. This is also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance.

If you are considering a divorce, a Woodbridge spousal support lawyer can help. A skilled family attorney could help you evaluate your case to determine whether you may be able to qualify for a spousal support award.

Factors Determining Spousal Support

There are several factors that may influence a spousal support award. Generally, when considering spousal support, courts will consider:

  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • The actual need of the requesting spouse
  • The ability of the other spouse’s ability to pay
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed while married
  • The income, educational level, employability, and earning capacity of each spouse
  • How many years the couple were married
Based on these and other factors, the court can determine both whether spousal support is appropriate and the duration and type of spousal support. This too depends largely on the financial standing of each party and the length of the marriage.
What is Temporary Spousal Support?

This type of support is awarded to a spouse who is unemployed or underemployed while divorce proceedings are ongoing so that they can pay their living expenses. Generally, this support ends once a divorce is finalized.

How is Limited Duration Spousal Support Determined?

As a Woodbridge spousal support lawyer knows, limited duration support is awarded based on the spouse’s financial need. The court may set a time-limit on this type of support, allowing enough time for the spouse to become self-supporting. Limited duration support is usually awarded when the couple was married less than 20 years, however, the length of time the award is in place may not exceed the length of the marriage.

Potential for Reimbursement

It is not uncommon for one spouse to have supported the other while they obtained a higher education degree that now allows them to earn a substantial living. When one spouse does this for the other, it is usually with the understanding that they will be able to enjoy those future financial benefits. This type of support reimburses that spouse for the earlier support since they will no longer be enjoying the financial rewards the degree provides.

Defining Rehabilitative and Durational Spousal Support

This type of support allows a spouse to pursue education or training that will enable them to obtain employment and become financially independent. Once they can do so, this support may end.

Open durational spousal support is a type of support is usually only awarded when the marriage lasted more than 20 years and one spouse has a much larger earning capacity than the other. This type of spousal support may be able to be terminated or modified if the receiving spouse remarries or is living with someone or if the paying spouse becomes disabled or retires.

Outlining Possible Tax Implications

Until recently, any spousal support collected was taxable income and any spousal support paid could be deducted. However, the recent changes to the United States tax laws have also changed spousal support tax laws. With the passage of the new law, any payments made under spousal support orders issued after December 31, 2018 may not be tax deductible for the paying spouse and receiving spouse's will no longer have to claim the payments as taxable income.

How an Attorney Can Provide Help

Debates over spousal support can be contentious. Moreover, it can be extremely complex and require a thorough understanding of each spouse’s finances and assets. Therefore, it may be helpful to have an experienced attorney by your side to help guide you through the process.

If you are going through a divorce and think you may be entitled to spousal support, contact a Woodbridge spousal support lawyer to schedule a free consultation.