One of the issues a divorcing couple has to deal with during the divorce process is spousal support payment. Also known as alimony, spousal support is a court-ordered payment that is made by one spouse to the other during the separation period or after the divorce for maintenance.
The court takes into account a number of factors when deciding whether to award alimony or not, and if so, the alimony amount as well as the payment period. Here are some of the factors a South Carolina court will consider when awarding spousal support.
Each party’s earning capacity
One of the key factors the court will consider when ruling on spousal support is each party’s earning capacity. What can the paying party afford to pay their ex each month? How about the receiving party? Are they currently employed? What is their education, job skills, health and age like? The receiving party’s income, or income potential, is just as important as the paying party’s financial status when determining the spousal support amount.
The duration of the marriage
Generally, the longer the couple has been in the marriage, the higher the spousal support amount will be. The duration of the marriage also comes into play when determining the type of alimony to award. For instance, permanent alimony is often awarded only in long-term marriages.
Each party’s contribution to the marriage
Contribution to the marriage goes beyond finances. The divorce court acknowledges contributions such as home keeping, raising the kids as well as contributions towards the working spouse’s work and career. In other words, the court recognizes that the spouse who stayed at home did indeed contribute to the improvement of the marriage and the family as well.
Spousal support is an important component of the divorce settlement process. Find out how you can get the best possible deal while negotiating spousal support payment.