Questions To Ask Your Divorce Attorney Regarding Spousal Maintenance

One of the top questions that some spouses have when going through a divorce is whether they are eligible to receive alimony and how much money they can expect from these alimony payments. The reality of the matter, though, is that the courts make both these decisions. However, if you are in a bind, for example, due to having been financially dependent on your former spouse, resulting in not having any means, a divorce attorney can make seeking alimony a priority for your specific case. So what can you expect? This article outlines a few of the questions that you should ask your divorce attorney regarding spousal support.

Do you automatically qualify for spousal maintenance?

A common presumption that some people have about alimony when getting divorced is that as long as they can prove that they were the primary homemaker while their partner was the provider, they will receive an adequate sum of money as spousal support, but this is not true. The reality of the matter is that while child support is factored into the divorce proceedings, your divorce lawyer would have to formally request alimony as part of your divorce petition.

Take note, though, that this is not merely about mentioning that you would want to receive spousal maintenance. Rather, the divorce attorney would have to draft paperwork that highlights why you would need alimony and the amount of money that would suffice.

Is spousal maintenance provided immediately?

The second question you should ask your divorce attorney regarding spousal support is how soon it can be granted, as this will depend on the type of spousal support that the court grants. You may be surprised to learn that, depending on the circumstances, the court may choose to grant you temporary spousal support. With this option, your former spouse is ordered to provide you with alimony even if the divorce proceedings have not been concluded in court. If you are not granted temporary alimony, you may have to wait until the divorce proceedings are finalized so that the judge can rule on which type of spousal maintenance would be best suited to your circumstances.

Transitional spousal support, for example, requires your former partner to pay money for a duration of time with a specific goal in mind. For instance, if you had to put your career on hold to raise your children, this type of alimony could be used to improve your academic skills so that you can easily get back to the job market.

Compensatory spousal support, on the other hand, is granted to fiscally reimburse you for your contribution to the earning capacity of your former spouse, such as by paying for their vocal coaching and studio time which led to a successful musical career. Keep in mind, though, that the types of spousal maintenance granted can vary from state to state, so you must discuss your options with your divorce lawyer beforehand.