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Spousal Support is About Fairness and Transition

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Many people have a mistaken notion about the purpose of spousal support. Centuries of bias have contributed to the impressions that spousal support is a "punishment" for the husband, or that the wife is inherently incapable of supporting herself in the eyes of the law.  The purpose of Spousal support is not about blame or guilt, but is about fairness and transition from marriage.

Purpose of Spousal Support

The real purpose of spousal support is to ensure that one spouse is capable of maintaining a lifestyle commensurate with what existed before the divorce. Colorado courts now recognize the concept of "no fault divorce," meaning that the court does not seek to assign blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Also, the laws are gender neutral - meaning that it is unconstitutional to imply that only the husband must pay spousal support.

Another myth that prevails is that every divorce includes spousal support. This is simply not true. Far less than 20% of all divorces include spousal support, and this reflects the growing awareness of the judicial systems.

Spousal support guidelines

As mentioned above, spousal support is meant to ensure that no excessive hardship is placed on the lesser well off spouse due to the divorce. However, this does not mean that the receiveing spouse has no responsibility. There are two types of spousal support - Temporary and permanent. The latter is used only in special circumstances. Let's look at them one by one.

Temporary spousal support guidelines

This type of support is also called alimony pedente. It means the immediate payments that need to be made to the spouse in order to provide for urgent expenses like utility bills and mortgage payments. These payments are made during the divorce proceedings and are therefore by their very nature, impermanent.

Other temporary support is meant to ensure that the spouse is able to acquire the necessary skills to support himself or herself. In the modern day, spousal support payments are rarely more than a few years. In some cases, they can be as little as few months.

Permanent spousal support

This is a rare occurence and is mostly used only when it is shown that one spouse is completely incapable of supporthing themselves. Another condition is that the marriage must have lasted for a long duration of several decades. These conditions are not come across readily and therefore one doesn't see permanent spousal support often.

Spousal support attorneys

It is important to note that a lot depends on the arguments put forward by both parties. One needs to know both the factors that are important in such a case, as well as the ability to flesh out the important aspects of each case. Our marrison law attorneys speicalize in divorce cases and we can put forward your point of view cogently and persuasively. Contact us now for a free consultation. The longer you delay, the more difficult it will prove to get a fair judgement.

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