A claim for postseparation support and alimony, often referred to as a spousal support claim, is generally made by a spouse who has substantially less income than the other spouse during the marriage and needs support following the separation to maintain his or her standard of living to which he or she had become accustomed during the marriage. The court will generally allow such claims when a spouse is substantially in need of maintenance and support, and the other spouse has the ability to pay support. The amount of support varies from case to case depending on the amount needed and the ability to pay. Once a complaint has been filed, the postseparation support claim can be scheduled for hearing. The court will set an amount of postseparation that will continue until the trial of the alimony claim. When the alimony claim is tried in court, the court will determine the amount and duration of alimony following divorce. As a general rule, the court will award alimony for about one-half the period of the marriage. However, the court has authority to make an alimony award permanent. The court also has authority to deny a postseparation support and alimony claim where the dependent spouse has committed certain marital misconduct.
In determining the entitlement and amount of support, the trial court will consider a number of factors, including marital fault. The court may also award attorney's fees to a dependent spouse who is entitled to postseparation support and alimony.
A spouse prosecuting or defending a claim for postseparation support and/or alimony will be required to complete an affidavit of financial standing that provides details of that spouse's expenses and income. It is important to provide an accurate list of all expenses for at least one year prior to the date of separation, including copies of bills. Copies of wage statements, W-2 forms, and income tax returns are also generally required.
Mr. Kelso is experienced in prosecuting and defending claims for postseparation support and alimony. These are serious cases that require an experienced family law attorney.
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