Spousal Support

Couple in the distance walking on the beach at sunset.

Spousal support is appropriate when there is a significant difference in the incomes of the spouses after separation. In many instances the higher earning spouse may be ordered to pay spousal support to the lower earning spouse. Like child support, temporary spousal support is available from the outset of a dissolution proceeding and permanent spousal support may continue for a period of time after the dissolution has been completed. It is important to note that permanent support does not mean forever. The general rule of thumb is that spousal support, if appropriate, will continue for half the length of the marriage. However, there are exceptions and spousal support in most cases will decrease over time. Moreover, the supported spouse will be expected to make reasonable efforts to become increasingly self-supporting as time passes. Like child support, if circumstances change significantly, a spousal support order can be reviewed and modified as needed.

Learn more about Child Support.