Going through divorce is never easy and one of the big decisions that must be made is the amount of spousal support to ask for. There are several factors that should be carefully examined and discussed between you and your attorney in order to make a fair claim that will be approved by the court.
The amount of money that your spouse makes and that you make, if you are employed, is going to play a key role in determining how much spousal support you will likely receive. You should provide all sources of income that your spouse has such as investments, income from property, salaries, bonuses, and any fringe benefits (company car, club memberships, etc…). You will need to provide paper proof of all claims you make but your attorney should be able to help you obtain the necessary documentation. These same income sources also apply to you as well, if you are working.
Even if your spouse should lose their job and take their time in searching for a new one, you can still be awarded spousal support. You will need to show the court your spouse’s working skills, experience, and evidence that jobs in their skill range are out there. In effect, you are proving to the court that your spouse is simply not putting in the effort to obtain employment.
Length of your marriage
The easiest way to put this is that the longer you are married, the more spousal support you may be entitled to. If you have children and have remained at home the last several years to care for those children, the court understands that it will not be easy for you to find employment in your field now that you are responsible for the day to day expenses. In the state of California, if you have been married for ten years or more, you can receive spousal support for as long as you need it.
As a married couple, you may have enjoyed a higher level of lifestyle. Perhaps you belong to the local country club, you have a favorite salon where you get a pedicure every couple of weeks, or you purchase designer goods. With a divorce, that standard of living can drastically change for you but there is a stipulation in the law that if your spouse makes sufficient money to support both of you in this same lifestyle, than you can include this in your calculation of spousal support.
Age and health
Your age and health should also be considered when you and your attorney are figuring out the amount of spousal support to ask for. Make sure that your attorney has a complete picture of any health issues that you struggle with. You will also need to show medical evidence to the court, backing up your claim for higher spousal support if this is a primary factor. However, it should be remembered that spousal support will only be awarded if your spouse makes enough money to pay the amount requested.
A spouse’s requirement to pay spousal support is also influenced by their health and age. If you have both reached retirement, your spouse’s ailing health or age should be considered by you and your attorney as you calculate a support amount.