Spousal support factors Show me the money!

This is the second part of a three-part series about spousal support by Jackson attorney Marie E. Matyjaszek

Who doesn't love getting paid for something they did years ago, such as getting married? Spousal support can give you that feeling of love even when you're not in love anymore.

The next spousal support factor to be examined is "the ages of the parties. A young wife with an older husband has a better chance of maintaining employment than an older wife, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the trophy wife won't get spousal support. The court has to take into account various other factors as well (think back to article one for starters).

"The ability of the parties to pay spousal support" is also a factor. If you're raking in serious dough each month then you're more apt to be able to divert some of those funds into your ex's shoe or classic car account. While you may not be one of them, there are still quite a few people, both men and women, who are earning a substantial living at the present time. The rest of us are likely burdened by debt, working too much for too little, and facing financial pressure we seemingly can't control. Regular folk may not be able to afford to pay any spousal support unless they want to start living with their parents again. Further, the court can look at more than just what we normally consider income, i.e. a paycheck, as income can include items such as your retirement pensions, Social Security payments, or disability payments.

The court must also look at "the present situation of the parties" in determining a spousal support award. Did your ex move out because she just couldn't stand your towels on the floor anymore? Because of your messy habits, is she now facing a myriad of bills on her own? If one of the spouses in a marriage is disabled and unlikely to find work, yet the other is doing well in her or his career, this factors in as well.

The last factor to be examined this go 'round is "the needs of the parties." If your wife was a stay-at-home mom or doesn't have any real marketable skills, she needs spousal support more than a wife who has maintained a career alongside yours during the marriage. You can double up on some of the other factors and say that because of the poor health of one spouse, and the crippling medical bills he or she faces, that's another consideration for needing support.

The amount of cash flow and your individual ability to work compared to your ex will help determine if you have to continue to share the fruits of your labor with the former Mr. or Mrs. If you're the one receiving support, you don't necessarily mind having those ties to your past. Now if only you could get paid for all those other annoying habits you put up with.

The author is an associate attorney at the Law Office of Robert Matyjaszek, PLLC, Jackson, Michigan. Her blog site is: http://legalbling.blogspot.com. She can be reached at (517) 787-0351 or by email at matyjasz@hotmail.com.

Published: Mon, Apr 16, 2012