How Does The Court Determine Spousal Support?

In general, after a divorce case is filed, if the parties can not agree upon a support amount, then the court will order some type of “interim” support.  This amount of support is intended to maintain the status quo while the divorce is going on and until a final order of support is made by the judge.  This initial support amount is usually calculated using some type of computer software program that takes into consideration the earnings of both spouses. 

The final support payment ordered by the judge usually looks at factors beyond the present earnings of the parties.  Often times the judge will take into consideration each party’s ability to earn income, the age of the parties, the health of the parties, how long the parties were married, the educational background and other similar factors.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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