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Spousal Support: What You Need to Know

When a couple gets a divorce, one spouse may be left without an immediate way to support themselves financially. This is common in marriages in which one parent was a stay-at-home parent while the other was the financial breadwinner. The problem arises when the parent without a work history has difficulty with finances after a divorce.

In cases like this, the spouse who cannot adequately support him or herself can request spousal support. Here are some things you need to know about this process.

How Do You Get Spousal Support?

The court will review several factors when you request spousal support from your former spouse. The judge will use two primary considerations to determine if you qualify for this assistance. First, they will look at whether or not you have a true financial need for the support. Secondly, the judge will determine if your former spouse is able to pay you.

What Type of Information Does the Court Require?

The court will give you a specific list of information you will need to provide when you request spousal support. The list is different for everyone due to the variable circumstances. However, some information is necessary for all who request spousal support.

Your financial information is going to be a very important factor. You will need to provide the court with a list of your expenses. This includes your regular utility bills, grocery expenses, and what you spend on your personal care. You also need to submit your income if you have any.

If you have the financial information of your former spouse, you can submit the information to the court also. Keep in mind, however, you may need to obtain some information through discovery if you do not have access to it. Discovery is simply a legal method of obtaining specific information for the purpose of going to court.

If your former spouse has a lot of extra money at the end of a month and you have little to none, you have a higher likelihood of getting your spousal support.

Your employment history and education information are also necessary to help determine if you will receive spousal support. If there is a large gap in your and your former spouse's education and employment levels, it can factor into whether or not you will get support. This is because it shows whether or not you have the ability to earn enough money to support yourself.

If you have not held a job in a long time or have only held part-time employment, you can receive at least a partial amount of spousal support. You receive a partial amount of support if the judge determines you are able to get back into full-time work and support yourself or go to school to increase your education.

The court will also need to know the length of your marriage when they consider how much and for how long your spousal support will be. The courts do not generally allow spousal support for the rest of your life. However, if you had a very long marriage, you could receive support for a very long period of time.

The court will also determine your ability to support yourself in the future. If you work full-time and still cannot meet your own financial needs and your former spouse can afford to pay, you could receive long-term spousal support.

This is just a short list of factors the courts will look at to determine your eligibility. If you would like more information on spousal support and whether or not you can request it, contact Ezim Law Firm.


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Ezim Law Firm
7142 Florida Blvd., Second Floor 
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Phone: 225-929-7785 
Fax: 225-929-7717 
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