When a court awards spousal support, it considers several factors. It might order temporary spousal support to be paid while the divorce is pending. The calculation of spousal support varies slightly by state, so it is important to work with a divorce attorney who has a thorough understanding of all state spousal support laws.
Some Factors the Court Will Consider
- Standard of living during the marriage — the court will perhaps modify the awarded amount based on new facts or circumstances regarding the spouses, but it will also tend to keep their past shared standard of living.
- Stock options — now that millions of Americans receive stock options from their employers, courts now consider them and therefore have to deal with many more complications. Most stock options vest somewhere between three and five years after they are granted. When vested, they can be sold, so one issue that arises is what they could be sold for.
- Whether one spouse needs support while going to school or learning marketable job skills. In this case, they might also need child care payments.
- Whether one spouse is too ill or elderly to launch on a new career to support themselves.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- Whether one spouse is unable to obtain medical insurance and therefore needs support which includes this.
Scenarios for Change in Spousal Support
- If the supported spouse dies or remarries, support payments end.
- If the marriage was short and both spouses earned good income, spousal support is usually waived. In some cases, the court may order it to be paid for a certain period of time, and when that time expires the supported spouse can petition for continued payments.
- If the marriage was long-term, either spouse can petition for the amount to be changed, based on any change of their circumstances since the previous court order.
We also offer mediation services for couples who would prefer to resolve their divorce in a more amicable manner.
Many complex issues can arise in the calculation and awarding of spousal support, and many of them change over the years. Jacoby & Meyers has extensive experience handling family law issues, and we can provide you with reliable legal guidance throughout this difficult matter.