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Is There A Difference Between Alimony And Spousal Support?

During a divorce, many complex issues come up in court, including child custody, property division, child support, alimony, and spousal support. Of these, there have been emerging various questions regarding the differences between alimony and spousal support. 

Many people are confused about whether the two terms are the same or different. If you are seeking a divorce, it is important to be educated about the important terms. If you believe you deserve alimony or spousal support, but your ex refuses to pay you, consult with a Sandy divorce attorney today. 

Alimony and spousal support: Are they different?

The reality is, there is no actual difference between alimony and spousal support, and both the terms refer to the same thing. The only difference is that alimony is a more outdated term with the connotation that the ex-husband supports the ex-wife after the divorce. 

Spousal support, which is another term for the same thing, was introduced as a more gender-neutral term to break the stereotypes attached with alimony. The concept of alimony or spousal support is not the husband paying the wife. Instead, it incorporates the idea that one spouse must pay the other a certain payment amount for a specific period. The definition does not mention husband or wife. 

When these laws were first established, men mostly went to work to earn while the women took care of the household. But now, since times have changed, divorce laws have also changed. Spousal support seems an appropriate term for describing financial support between the parties. 

What are the factors that influence spousal support?

A judge does not use a standard method of calculations while determining which party should pay and how much. Instead, the judge looks at the following factors. 

  • Age and health of both
  • Income of each person
  • Length of the marriage
  • If both adults decided for one parent to stop working to stay home
  • If one spouse sacrificed time or money for the welfare of the other
  • Whether getting a job will be harmful to the child
  • What each person contributes to any children
  • Shared and separate property and debts
  • Incidents of domestic violence, if any

There is another type of support known as spousal reimbursement support. The recipient uses it to receive the education and training required to take up a job. This kind of support is intended to enhance the skills of the unemployed or lower-earning spouse until they can support themselves financially. 

There is no standard formula to calculate spousal support. If your ex is not paying you the deserved amount, consult with an attorney today. 

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