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How to determine if you should seek spousal support

As you start looking into divorce, one of the things you will have to think about is spousal support. Some people want to ask for it, and others don't. You need to think about its benefits and if it's something you feel is necessary as part of your divorce.

Spousal support, often referred to as alimony, can help a spouse who may not have the financial means to support themselves following a divorce. It can be permanent, but the majority of cases result in temporary payments made for a specified period to the lesser-earning spouse or a spouse who hasn't been earning an income.

Should you ask for spousal support?

If you aren't sure if you should seek spousal support, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. These include:

  • Do I earn enough to take care of myself without support from my spouse?
  • Did I invest in my spouse's education or provide other financial support that I want to be compensated for?
  • Will I have a similar lifestyle to what I've had during the marriage without spousal support?
  • Am I entitled to spousal support based on the state's laws?

Once you think things through, you'll likely be able to determine whether you are entitled to spousal support, and you may decide that you want to pursue it. You and your spouse may decide on an amount that you're happy with, or you may turn to the court to determine how much support you should receive.

Most people receive spousal support in monthly payments, but you may be able to get it as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Your attorney can talk to you more about your options.

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