The court considers many factors in spousal support.
Spousal support (formerly called alimony) refers to court-ordered payments from one spouse to another. In deciding whether to award spousal support and in what amount, the court may consider:
- Past relations and conduct of each partner
- Length of the marriage
- Ability of each person to work and their respective incomes
- Source and amount of property awarded to each partner
- Ability to pay spousal support
- Needs and health of each partner
- Former standard of living and whether either is responsible for the support of others
- Age and educational level of the person claiming spousal support
- Fault of each partner in ending the marriage
- Judgments of divorce that do not grant spousal support must either expressly reserve the question of spousal support for later ruling or rule that neither party is entitled to spousal support.
Spousal support can be paid directly or through the office of the Friend of the Court. The Friend of the Court maintains accurate record of payments. It also makes it easier to request assistance from the Friend of the Court if payments stop, or if a spouse denies receiving them.
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