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When it comes to matters of spousal support, also known as alimony, it’s important to understand your rights.

As you move though the divorce process, spousal support is just one of the many details you may need to work out with your former spouse.

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that the court is not obligated to issue one person spousal support. Instead, this is looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Generally speaking, spousal support is a way for the court to limit an unfair economic effect of the divorce process. For example, if one partner never worked and stayed home to raise the couple’s children, this person may be entitled to spousal support.

With child support, the court has a system for determining how much one parent should pay. The same is not true in regards to spousal support. Instead, the amount of alimony is based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: the length of the marriage, the age of each person, the financial condition of both parties, the standard of living during the marriage, and the ability for both individuals to support themselves.

Since there is so much gray area in regards to spousal support, you need to be prepared for everything you could face as the court process moves forward.

In an overall sense, you should have an idea of where things stand. Could you be required to pay spousal support? Could you be in position to receive alimony? Once you have a better take on your situation, you can then decide what to do next.

Source: FindLaw, “Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics,” accessed Nov. 10, 2016