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Spousal support is usually based on several factors

When a marriage ends, one topic that stirs heated emotions may be alimony. Since each marriage is different, it follows that the decisions and judgments made in each divorce will be unique. Spousal support in Louisiana is determined by a judge who takes many factors into consideration.

In most states, the court’s general assumption is that the person requesting support will eventually become financially independent. This may not always be possible, for example, if the person seeking support is a woman in her 60s who has not worked since before her marriage. In most cases, the judge will consider how much the recipient could potentially earn, and if the recipient can live on that amount. Having a projected budget will assist the court in determining one’s needs.

The court will also look at the ability of the payor to provide support. If he or she does not earn much money, the court cannot expect him or her to pay exorbitant alimony. On the other hand, a judge will not look kindly on someone who quits a job simply to avoid paying support.

It is likely that the courts will order more support if a couple has been married longer. Support may be granted for a short period of time – for example, six months after the divorce is final – or permanently. Permanent support usually ends when the paying spouse dies or if the receiving spouse remarries. In Louisiana, if the situation of either spouse changes, he or she can return to court and request a modification of the order.

Even with the many factors to consider, a judge may order spousal support that is unfair or burdensome to the payor. This is why it is prudent to have the support of a family law attorney who is dedicated to protecting the rights of her clients. With a lawyer advocating for one’s interests from the beginning, it is more likely that a person will receive a fair judgement.

Source:, “What you need to know right now about spousal support — in the United States and Canada“, Nancy Kurn, Dec. 3, 2016

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