Spousal support is an amount of money provided by once spouse to another after a dissolution or legal separation action has commenced. Spousal support is also called alimony, or can be referred to as maintenance payments. Spousal support is used to financially support a spouse for a period of time so that they can maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. In some circumstances, support can last until the supported party remarries, dies, or becomes self-sufficient such that support payments are no longer necessary.
Temporary support is a spousal support amount set during the pendency of the legal proceedings. The calculation of temporary support often relies upon a court approved calculation, which is based on different factors than permanent support. Often, temporary support is at the “guideline,” which refers to the use of the court approved calculation (which is also used for the calculation of child support).
Permanent support is ordered with the dissolution of marriage, and is based on different statutory factors than temporary support orders. Permanent support orders are not based on the guideline calculation which is used for temporary support order. Permanent spousal support is especially complex when there is a long-term marriage or one spouse has been out of the workplace for an extended period of time. Spousal support can be complicated, and there are many factors which affect the amount and duration of support.
Yes, spousal support can be waived by the parties. Unlike child support, which cannot be waived, the parties do have the option to waive spousal support and terminate the court’s ability to order support payments.