Spousal support or maintenance may be granted to either spouse in connection with a proceeding for divorce or legal separation. Whether you are seeking spousal support or you have been requested to pay spousal support, it is in your best interest to seek the guidance of experienced counsel to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that any order or agreement for support is fair and equitable.
An order for support may provide a spouse with temporary financial assistance while a case is pending for dissolution of your marital status or legal separation. Spousal support may also be ordered to be paid to a spouse for a specific length of time after the marriage has been dissolved and, in some cases, an order for support may be permanent. The parties may contractually agree on an amount of support payable and request that the court enter the agreement as an order.
Spousal support is determined and ordered by the court after consideration of the factors below:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- The needs of each party
- Financial resources and liabilities of each party, including separate property
- Each party’s source(s) of income
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s ability to be self-supporting
- The contribution of each party to domestic duties
- The contribution of each party to the education and training of the other party
- Domestic violence
After support is ordered, the amount of support payable and the duration of payment may only be modified upon a showing of a change in circumstances. For instance, a change that reduces the financial need for the amount ordered. The law provides that unless otherwise agreed upon, an order for support terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage of the party receiving support. However, if the parties specifically agree that an order for support is not subject to modification or termination, the amount payable may never be modified regardless of changed circumstances.
It is essential that you receive sound legal advice, whether you are the party paying support or the party receiving support. If litigation is in your best interest, Hassett Family Law will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that the court’s order of support is fair and just. If litigation is not what is in your best interest and the parties can work together to resolve support, Hassett Family Law can mediate your case to have an order for support entered without going to Court.
Whether your matter requires a simple amicable agreement or consideration of highly complicated financial assets, we offer considerable experience in achieving favorable support terms for our clients.
We also assist clients who seek modification of an existing support order due to a change in circumstances and we can assist you in enforcing an existing order for alimony.