17 Apr How Long Do I Have to be Married to Receive Spousal Support?
Alimony, or spousal support, means one spouse makes payments to another during and/or after a divorce. Bloom Law Office specializes in divorce, including the negotiation of alimony. The terms of alimony may be determined by an existing agreement (sometimes included in a pre-nuptial agreement) or may be dictated by a court. Alimony isn’t as common as it used to be, but it’s still very prevalent. However, now that there’s an increasing number of families where both spouses work, the disparity has decreased.
What Is The Purpose of Alimony (Spousal Support)
The goal of alimony is to ensure there is no obvious economic disadvantage to one spouse due to the divorce. For example, if one spouse is a lower wage earner or non-wage earner, they may qualify for spousal support. One of the most common questions asked at Bloom Law Office is how long a couple has to be married for alimony to become applicable. The answer is “it depends”.
Laws vary state to state. Every state sets its own spousal support laws. However, most consider a number of factors. A judge may also weigh in. Still, longer marriages often lead to a higher chance of alimony being awarded. Judges have a lot of discretion when it comes to awarding alimony—in other words, alimony usually isn’t required by the state and this gives the judge a generous amount of say. This is one reason why it’s so important to have a qualified divorce attorney in your corner.
The definition of a “long-term marriage” also varies by state. Many consider 15+ years to be a long-term marriage. However, shorter-term marriages may also result in alimony awards, particularly if one of the spouses was a non-wage earner but cared for the home and/or children.
The types of support can also vary. In some cases, alimony is awarded for a specific period of time, or it may be for a lifetime. There’s a “bridge the gap” alimony award to help a spouse for a short term to get back on their feet, and rehabilitative alimony to help a spouse as they go through job training. The last two are the most common types of alimony.
Alimony Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom
In most cases, a marriage must last a minimum of seven years for alimony to be an option. Are you interested in learning more about alimony and your divorce proceedings? Contact Bloom Law Office at 855-208-3650 to schedule your consultation.