If you're in the process of a divorce, and you're not sure whether spousal support applies to you, it's time to do your homework. There are a lot of different issues that are taken into consideration when determining spousal support. Here are five factors you should consider when deciding whether you should request support as part of the divorce settlement.
You Were in a Long-Term Marriage
If you and your spouse were involved in a long-term marriage, you should consider asking for spousal support. In most cases, the longer you've been married, the better chance you'll have of being granted support. It's also important to note that a long-term marriage may also allow you to collect larger support payments.
Your Age and Health Status Will Not Allow Full-Time Employment
If you're past the age where you could seek gainful employment, or health issues prevent you from working, your spouse may be obligated to pay spousal support. This is particularly true if your spouse worked to care for you during the marriage.
Your Contributions to the Marriage Were Significant
When it comes to spousal support, you need to look at your contributions to the marriage. If you're not sure what your contributions were, consider the following areas where your contributions might have been significant.
- You worked so that your spouse could continue their education
- You stayed home so that your spouse could advance their career
- You gave up a lucrative career to further your spouse's business endeavors
- You worked to make the family business more successful
There's a Substantial Income Difference between You and Your Spouse
If you're still not sure about spousal support, you should take a look at the income differences between you and your spouse. If your spouse makes significantly more money than you do, you may be entitled to a portion of that income for your support. This is particularly true if you don't have any income at the time of the divorce.
Your Child Has Special Needs
If you will continue to be the primary caregiver of a child with special needs, you may find it difficult to find full-time employment outside of the home. Spousal support will allow you to continue providing full-time care for your child with special needs.
If you're going through a divorce, you might be entitled to spousal support. Before you sign away your rights to spousal support, be sure to speak to your divorce attorney.