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After divorce, spousal support may be important

Spousal support is an important aspect of family law that is not necessarily well-understood. Many people in Iowa pursuing a divorce understand that it is possible for a judge to order spousal support payments, even if they are not entirely sure why. Spousal support -- also called alimony -- can be a necessary part of divorce for a number of reasons, although in some instances it might not be needed at all.

Barring any type of prenuptial agreement, the decision to order one spouse to pay spousal support to an ex is usually in the hands of a family law judge. The paying party usually earns significantly more than the recipient. This is especially common when one spouse either maintained a lower paying job to be more present for the family, or ended a career altogether in order to care for the couple's children.

One person earning more than the other is not the only consideration when deciding how much support should be paid and for how long. Judges typically consider the length of the couple's marriage, their standard of living, the age of both parties and the ability of the payer to support both the recipient and his or herself. If one person requires training or school to properly re-enter the work force, this will also be included in the decision-making process.

Spousal support payments can be essential for post-divorce stability. In most cases, spousal support is temporary, providing people in Iowa with a financial bridge to their new lives. However, in some cases a person may be awarded permanent support that terminates only upon death or remarriage. Although support is an integral aspect of family law, it can also be a complicated matter, and most people choose to consider how alimony might affect their divorces with guidance from experienced legal counsel.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics", Accessed on Dec. 12, 2017

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