When you're preparing for divorce and are the lesser-earning spouse, one of the questions you're likely to have is if you can seek spousal support. While every situation is different, it would be natural for someone in your position to seek spousal support through the court or through negotiation with your spouse.
Of course, not every former spouse receives support, and those who do may not be entitled to that support forever. In fact, most people get support for only a temporary length of time, which is limited to provide them just enough support to find work or to support them as they adjust to a new lifestyle.
There are few instances where spousal support will be permanent, but those may include if:
- Your spouse has no earning capabilities
- Your spouse is disabled and cannot be self-sufficient
There are a few questions you can ask yourself if you want to find out if you are entitled to alimony. For instance, if you are currently employed, that might limit your need for alimony. Similarly, if you work full time and earn close to what your spouse earns, you might not be in need of additional support.
However, if you have not been employed during your marriage or are not currently employed due to raising children or other reasons, then this could support your need for alimony.
Can you waive your right to alimony?
Yes, you can waive your right to alimony, in some cases. For example, if your spouse gives you more assets than you want, you might waive alimony in exchange for those items. Similarly, if you feel you earn enough, you can waive your right to alimony. Normally, it's unusual to waive the right to alimony if you're entitled to it, since it is granted when a person is in need of the support.
However, if you feel oddly about accepting money from an ex-spouse following a divorce, remember that your alimony payments are usually paid into a bank account or by check. Additionally, you can ask for a lump sum at the time of divorce, so you don't have to worry about whether or not your ex-spouse will pay the support you need over the next few months or years.
Spousal support can be a complex factor in divorce, so it's a good idea to learn more about it and how it affects your case. If you need alimony, your attorney can help you fight for it.