Areas of Practice
Spousal Support Is Not Forever
Things have changed a lot of in the 21st century, and one of the biggest changes is in the dynamics of gender relationships and how they tie into finance. In the 20th century, marriages were much simpler and more restrictive in terms of legal interpretation. A man and a woman became legally bound to each other in the state of marriage, and that was it. The man was the “breadwinner” of the family, being largely responsible for financial support through gainful employ, and the woman was the homemaker, with no financial resources of her own.
That’s no longer the case in the 21st century, with same-sex marriages, and either gender being equally capable of being the responsible for the larger financial contribution to a home. This means that concept of spousalsupport, once known as alimony, has also changed quite a bit.
Alimony, as it was originally called, was a way for the legal system to help women in a more restrictive era to have the financial support they needed when they “no longer had a man” that provided the money in the relationship that kept a household afloat. It was originally predicated on the assumption that women were naturally helpless and incapable of being financially independent, and thus the law was morally obligated to step in and provide a legal requirement for men to provide financial aid to the “helpless female” they had just separated from.
Obviously, there hasn’t been a need for this kind of required financial support in decades. In truth, now spousal support, as it is called, can apply just as equally to men as it does to women. So while the idea that this is a female-only legal aid is no longer a part of the legal perception, there’s still a necessity in the existence of spousal support. Sometimes, the other partner in a relationship really is put at a financial disadvantage from dissolving a marriage, and this may become even more pressing if raising children is involved.
A Change In Status
Any spouse/partner can apply for spousal support as part of divorce proceedings, though merely wanting spousal support is no guarantee that it is going to happen. An experienced divorce lawyer is essential in determining just what your financial needs are going to be going forward, and if there’s a determination that more financial support is required, you can move forward.
Children are often the biggest motivator in a court granting spousal support. If one person getting divorced is affluent and living alone, while the other takes on the responsibility of raising the children but has insufficient income to do this, that’s a clear case for the court to approve spousal support.
However, if the situation changes, such as starting a business that leads to a positive change in fortunes, or even finding a new partner with sufficient financial means, this is usually a call for spousal support to end. A court will not demand the other partner continue to pay when it’s obvious that money is no longer an issue.