Home > Law

Let us help you locate an attorney. Use the form below to find a divorce attorney in your area.

Spousal Support Calculations

Spousal support calculations are made by a family law judge who looks at a variety of factors in a dissolving marriage to determine if, and how much, spousal support is appropriate. Spousal support is financial payments that are given by one spouse to the other spouse who has lower income or is dependant. Spousal support calculations are arrived at in a very different way than child support calculations are. Child support is more of a formulated calculation, while spousal support calculations are governed by state law and the discretion of the family law judge.

All states have laws which allow a lower income spouse to receive temporary, or even long term or permanent, support from their former spouse. Spousal support calculations have been determined differently throughout American history. Spousal support used to be awarded to an ex-wife who had been married to her former husband for a long time, was faithful, and had no marketable skills so that she may enjoy the same quality of life she had enjoyed in the marriage. Today spousal support calculations can be made for either former spouse based on financial and non-financial factors.

Spousal support calculations will be made based on many marital and divorce factors. While the laws in each state can vary, the following are some factors which may affect spousal support calculations: the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the qualify of life established during marriage, each party's current income and earning potential, each party's needs, the sacrifices made by one spouse for the sake of the marriage or to further the other partner's education or career, custodial parent status, and more. Because men still earn a higher income on average than women, ex-wives are awarded spousal support more often than ex-husbands.

In addition to these factors, 29 states currently factor fault into spousal support calculations. In states that consider fault a factor, a spouse may not be eligible for spousal support calculations if they committed adultery or some other marital offense. Spousal support calculations may also be made with stipulations for how long the payments are to be made and under what circumstances they will be stopped. When a person receiving spousal support dies, remarries, or begins to live with another partner, spousal support payments may be terminated.

Spousal support calculations also affect taxation in a significant way. Unlike child support which works in the reverse, the providers of support can deduct spousal support calculations from their taxable income while receivers must add spousal support calculations to their taxable income. There are additional tax provisions that may also apply to spousal support calculations that should be discussed in detail with a qualified attorney or tax professional.

If you would like to learn more about spousal support calculations and the factors which can affect spousal support, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights and options.

More information on law:

Issues Regarding Child Custody


Child Custody Rights

Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.

Custody for Fathers

Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.

Hawaii Alaska California Washington Oregon Nevada Idaho Montana Wyoming Utah Arizona New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington DC Colorado North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas New Mexico Texas Okalahoma Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Indiana Michigan Ohio Florida Mississippi Alabama Georgia Kentucky Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania New York vermont Maine