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Spousal support: How does it work?

Relationships can be difficult and even painful, especially when they come to an end. Some California residents who are facing divorce know only too well that discussions about money can quickly turn into full-blown arguments. Spousal support is something that often creates tension during divorce.

Also known as alimony, this is money paid to support an ex-spouse. Dating back to Babylonian times, it was paid to wives by their ex-husbands, as women were not permitted to engage in paid work. This is no longer the case, and in fact payments may be paid to either gender. Spousal support (which is not automatic) is typically paid by the higher earner to the one with the lower income, and while it is less common, there are an increasing number of instances where a wife's income outstrips her husband's.

Financial support may be necessary for a number of reasons. Temporary support may be awarded to cover the period between separation or filing for divorce until it has been finalized. Spousal support may also be paid to an ex-spouse while he or she is unemployed, until such time as paid employment is found. It can also be awarded as recompense for money paid to help a spouse during the marriage, for things such as tuition or business expenses. The most common agreement is for it to be paid for a specific period of time.

Spousal support is dependent on a number of factors, which can include the duration of the marriage and the guidelines of the state where the divorce is pending. Age can also influence the amount that one will be awarded. California residents can seek the advice that is appropriate to their circumstances to help them move forward in a positive way.

Source: seekingalpha.com, "What Women Need To Know About Spousal Support", Russ Thornton, Aug. 31, 2017

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