Spousal support may be awarded for as a result of longer term marriages and is based on a determination of equity by the Judge. In other words, the Judge will do what he or she believes is fair. The Court will traditionally use the below 11 factors to determine whether spousal support should be awarded to one party or the other. Those factors are:
(1) The parties past relations and conduct;
(2) The length of the marriage;
(3) The parties ability to work;
(4) The source and amount of property awarded to the parties;
(5) The parties’ ages;
(6) The ability to pay spousal support;
(7) The parties’ present situation;
(8) The parties’ needs;
(9) The parties’ health;
(10) The prior standard of living of the parties and whether the parties support others; and
(11) General principles of equity.
Unlike child support, there are no statutory mandated formulas to determine the amount of spousal support owed. Just like child support, spousal support may be modifiable due to a change of circumstances unless the parties agree that the support is not modifiable. A party may revisit spousal support post judgment if the other spouse fails to pay debts that subject the other party to creditors.
Spousal support is taxable to the person receiving the benefit and deductible to the payer.