Spousal support is a payment the court orders one spouse to pay to another. It can happen during the divorce process and afterward. The idea is to supplement or provide income for a spouse who is financially disadvantaged.
The court will not always award spousal support. Generally, there are specific instances when the court decides it is a good idea.
Standard of living
The court will consider the standard of living during the marriage and after the marriage for both parties. If there is an obvious difference between how each party will live and the finances of each after the marriage, then the court will typically consider awarding alimony. If the money is there for one party to be able to provide for the other and to bring both households to the standard of living that was occurring during the marriage, then the court will usually award alimony.
In cases where one party does not work or has not worked for a long time, it can be difficult for that person to get employment right after the divorce. This person is at a disadvantage and has a need for financial support. As long as the other party is able to provide help, the court will often use spousal support to ensure there is not one person left without a stable income.
The court will not award alimony if it would leave the paying party in financial trouble. There needs to be the ability to pay and the need to receive for a judge to really consider a spousal support award.