If you and your spouse divorce, the court may order you to pay spousal support, also known as alimony. Spousal support is intended to provide financial support for the lower-earning spouse in the marriage. It can help them maintain the standard of living they had before the divorce.
Spousal support amount and uses
When determining how much spousal support to award, the court will consider factors like the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and their financial needs.
Spousal support payments can be used to cover many common expenses. It can be used to pay for living expenses, like rent or mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and household maintenance.
It may also be used to pay for health insurance and medical bills, for educational expenses to help the lower-earning spouse gain skills that will allow them to grow in their career and earn more money, and for transportation costs like car insurance, car payments and gas.
The court order may specify different uses for the funds.
If the spouse who is ordered to pay spousal support does not meet their obligation, there are options to address it.
First, it’s important to keep notes of the missed payments, including the amount owed and when it was due.
It may be helpful to discuss the issue in mediation, but if that doesn’t work, you can go to court and ask the judge to address the non-payment.
The court may order your spouse’s employer to withhold the spousal support from their paycheck.