Spousal support in a divorce can be complicated, contentious, and stressful. While divorce is the end of a marriage, it’s also the beginning of a new chapter of your life. How that chapter reads can be affected by alimony determination, and what is awarded will often depend on your attorney’s expertise.
If you are considering filing for divorce, have started the process, or have been served divorce papers, let the Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap help you navigate spousal support. I proudly serve clients in Shreveport, Minden, Bossier City, Mansfield, and communities in Bossier, Webster, and DeSota Parishes in Louisiana.
What is Alimony and Spousal Support?
Alimony and spousal support are terms used interchangeably and refer to: court-ordered payment one spouse pays the other during the divorce process or for a period after the divorce is final. Alimony provides financial support for the lower-earning spouse during the time needed to begin generating income lost in the divorce. And while it’s commonly thought that the wife is the recipient of spousal support, that’s not always the case. According to MarketWatch, 45% of matrimonial attorneys in a 2018 survey noted an increase in women paying alimony.
Louisiana law defines three types of spousal support:
- Interim support is awarded during the divorce process and terminates when the divorce becomes final or for up to six months afterward.
- Periodic support can be awarded to the lower-earning spouse to allow him/her time to become financially independent. This support is often awarded to a spouse who, for example, stayed home to raise children. The lower-earning spouse will need to return to the workplace, but he/she needs time to make up for lost employment and training.
- Permanent support is rare but provides support for an extended period after the divorce if the receiving spouse is disabled, elderly, or otherwise unable to work.
Periodic and permanent support ends when the supporting spouse dies, when the supported spouse remarries or, often, when the supported spouse cohabitates with someone even if they are not married.