Issues in divorce obviously have a tendency to create conflict, and spousal support at hand is at the top of the list.
If you and your spouse can not come to agreement on the amount of spousal support to be paid, for what length of time, and under what conditions, than the court will decide this for you. A word of advice…letting the court decide will only cost more money and will add an element of surprise that can often times be financially and emotionally traumatic. Also keep in mind that not all divorces include spousal support agreements.
If possible take the time and attempt to agree on the spousal support arrangements. The arrangements will be part of your Separation Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement and the following is typically defined:
- The support amount to be paid.
- How often it will be paid and when.
- The name and address of the spouse who is receiving the support.
- Where the support payments are to be mailed.
- The social security number of the receiving spouse.
- Insurance Policies & Medical Coverage.
- Future Conditions (for example: if spouse remarries).
- Payment Assurance.
- Recourse if payments are not made.
Specifying the amount and the conditions is the basis of a spousal support order. A fair amount is typically what would allow the spouse to continue living in a similar fashion that existed prior to the divorce.
The payment of support will also be set upon certain conditions for example:
- The spouse may only receive the support payments until job training or education is achieved.
- The spouse may only receive the support payments as long as they have not remarried.
An alternative to making several support payments over a lengthy period of time, spouses will often times agree on a Lump-Sum Agreement, in which the receiving spouse is paid one larger sum of money at one time and it is considered a final payment.