When a couple separates or divorces, one spouse may be eligible to receive financial support from the other in the form of spousal support or spousal maintenance (previously referred to as alimony).
The two parties can reach a mutual agreement or spousal maintenance may be an order of the court. Ideally, the purpose of spousal support is to allow a lower income spouse to become self-sustaining after the termination of the marriage.
“Pendente lite” or temporary spousal support can be issued pending the official termination of the marriage. This temporary order is replaced by a final order once a ruling has been made or an agreement reached in the case.
Rehabilitative support is another name for spousal support – payments given to a spouse over a period of time that are designed to enable the individual to obtain a career (through education of training) and become self-supporting.
Depending on the particular circumstances, support is usually ordered for a limited time period. A typical court order for spousal support will also terminate upon the death or remarriage of the supported spouse. In specific cases, support could be made permanent or for the life of the recipient.
Spousal support is different from child support. The difference between the two is the purpose of the support. With spousal support, the intention is to provide for the spouse and make him or her self-sustaining, separate from the support of the children. The amount and duration may be modified by the Court to increase or decrease, in specific instances, with the help of an attorney. There are different factors that are reviewed to determine amount and duration of spousal support.
Age and health of both spouses: If the supported spouse is of advanced age or suffers from a medical problem which would prevent him or her from obtaining employment (thus preventing him or her from becoming self-supportive).
Needs of each spouse: The needs of each spouse are based on various criteria, including the standard of living established during the marriage and the obligations and needs of each spouse.
Self-sustainability: One spouse may have had an impairment of present or future earning capacity due to periods of unemployment during the marriage that were devoted to domestic duties or child rearing. It is often more difficult for this supported spouse to attain self-sustainability upon a divorce or separation. Therefore, spousal support would help him or her create marketable skills for employment, such as attainment of education, training, or a professional license.
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Let me begin with my continued respect and heartfelt thanks for all you did for me when a simple divorce spiraled out of control. As wounded as I was, I was painfully aware of the emotional toll the litigation was taking on you too. It was that empathy, accompanied by your phenomenal legal skills that kept me together during what was perhaps the most traumatic chapter of my life. I hope I am able to convey an impression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.
I retained Tully Rinckey PLLC for a child support modification, which became necessary following domestic violence incidents, my own disability as a result, and my children's increased needs. Tully Rinckey PLLC is professional, proactive and, most importantly, does not suffer fools. They focused on the legal arguments of the case and applied appellate decisions which were directly related. Most importantly to me, they took my case personally. As one who has seen many people promised the sun, moon and stars by attorneys who then treat them as a number, Tully Rinckey PLLC was invested in my case from the beginning. They were able to go directly to the heart of the matter without needing to destroy the other party. They kept the focus on my children's needs and, when the other party refused to settle and hired an attorney, Tully Rinckey PLLC went into overdrive making sure my children would get a fair hearing of the facts in court. They kept the main thing the main thing and her arguments on point. They also ensured that my disability accommodations were honored and was sensitive to the needs my disability created, which was incredibly important for my testimony. I have already recommended Tully Rinckey PLLC several times and will continue to do so.
I was represented by Ryan McCall in both custody and support matters. Ryan did an excellent job in both, and we were successful in both. I would highly recommend to anyone in need of great representation to contact Tully Rinckey and speak to Ryan McCall.
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I would like to thank you for the wonderful job Tully Rinckey PLLC did on my behalf. In an unusual circumstance where the custody of my daughter changed for a period of 6 months because of Hurricane Irene, they managed to get the entire case dismissed.
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