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Spousal Support (in other jurisdictions referred to as Alimony or Maintenance   -
standard of living. The paying spouse may deduct these payments, and the receiving
spouse must declare them as income if they are “periodic” (payable over a definite period)
and meet the criteria outlined under IRS Code Section 71.

Once an underlying action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation has been filed,
the Court can address the issue of spousal support in the underlying action. There is no
legal obligation to pay spousal support by one parent to another other until there is a
Court order. In limited situations, the Court can order spousal support in a nullity action. A
Court order is obtained by filing a hearing.

The judge will consider many things when deciding what spousal support to order.
Examples of some things the judge may consider are:

  • How long the couple has been married;
  • The age and health of each spouse;
  • How much income each can earn on their own;
  • The expenses of each spouse;
  • If there are minor children at home; and
  • The history of how the couple handled money during the marriage.

Either spouse can later ask the judge to change the support amount if the situation
changes.

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