Things to Understand About Spousal Support/Alimony

When a relationship breaks, it can leave both partners on uneven terms financially. This is where temporary spousal support comes into play. If a spouse is struggling in terms of financial needs, or if the financial circumstances post-separation are unequal, they can request spousal support.

The one who receives monetary help is known as the support recipient or obligee, and the spouse paying support is called the support payor or the obligor. This support system can either be ordered by the court or made on agreement by both parties. Here’s everything you need to know about spousal support:

What’s The Purpose of Spousal Support/Alimony

The primary purpose of temporary spousal support is to ensure equality between both parties, especially if one’s financial needs exceed their income, while a divorce is pending. The community estate does not end until the date of divorce so in the interim, both parties are equally entitled to the community property income.

The purpose of alimony is to supplement the dependent spouse’s income post-divorce.  For example, if one partner left their career or education mid-way to care for the children, this monetary help will allow them to stand on their own feet and overcome financial hardship.  

Is Spousal Support/Alimony a Lifetime Commitment?

The court decides the period of temporary spousal support based on the arguments made by both parties at the initial hearings in a divorce case.  Temporary spousal support is based on the amount of community income available to the parties.  The court’s goal is to equalize the parties position in the community income.

 Alimony is the post-divorce support award.  The amount and duration of an alimony award is based on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage and economic circumstances post-divorce.  The family court has discretion to enter an award that is just and equitable under the circumstances.

Can Changes in Financial Situation Affect Spousal Support/Alimony?

The length of support payment can also depend on the financial situation of both parties. For example, if the recipient completes their education, starts a new job, or gets a raise, the length of the spousal support or alimony may be reduced. Any material change in financial circumstances of either party may provide a basis to request a modification in the award.

Are There Any Tax Consequences?

Due to recent changes in the tax code, alimony is no longer deductible to the obligor or included as income to the oblige.  As the tax code changes regularly, this may not always be the case.

There is never a tax consequence to a spousal support award pending divorce, as the parties are simply dividing the community income, on which they have already jointly paid income tax .

If you’re looking for an experienced and reliable divorce lawyer in Reno, the Anderson Keuscher law firm has you covered. We can assist with all legal matters and help you determine your rights, responsibilities, and options for spousal support or alimony. Get in touch with our family lawyers today.

Love Court – Related Clip

Tune into The Alice 96.5 Morning Show every Friday morning to hear Jessica Anderson talk all things family law during the The Alice Morning Show Love Court.

Listen to this clip regarding Relocation and Child Support.