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Four tips for building a successful case for spousal support

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | High Asset Divorce |

Your spouse makes a lot of money and you’ve sacrificed your career to support them and raise your children. Now that you’re getting divorce, it might feel fundamentally unfair that they get to retain their financial security while you’re left to figure out how to live the life to which you’ve grown accustomed.

While securing your fair share of the marital estate through the property division process might be helpful to a certain extent, it may not be enough. If that’s true in your situation, then it’s time to think about building an effective argument for spousal support.

But how do you successfully argue for alimony? It can be a hotly contested issue, after all, which is why you need to be adequately prepared with strong legal arguments heading into your divorce. Let’s dive in and discuss what you can do to build an effective case for the spousal support you deserve.

Tips for building a successful case for alimony

In most instances, spousal support is meant to be rehabilitative in nature. This means that its goal is to provide you with support until you’re able to become self-sufficient. To secure this support, though, you’ll need evidence, which includes the following:

  • Indications of your marital standard of living: At the end of the day, the court will try to issue a spousal support order that allows you and your spouse to enjoy the marital standard of living post-divorce. That may not fully be possible, of course, but the court will do the best it can. So, seek evidence that accurately reflects what your life was like during your marriage. While the house that you lived in with your spouse can be helpful here, don’t overlook the details like how frequently you shopped for new clothes, how often you ate out at restaurants and the type of restaurants you visited, and the vacations that you took. If you’re unsure if something speaks to the marital standard of living, it’s best to include it.
  • Signs of your sacrifices: The court will be sympathetic to your position if you can show that your circumstances are attributable to the sacrifices made for your spouse and your family. So, if true, be sure to show how you gave up your education or your career to raise your children or run the household while your spouse furthered their education or their career.
  • Each spouse’s financial resources: To convince a court that you need spousal support you’ll need to show your lack of financial resources. In addition, you’ll need to convince the court that your spouse can pay the support obligation you’re asking to be ordered. So, get your hands on your spouse’s financial records so that you know where they stand financially and what they’re able to pay.
  • A post-divorce budget: Simply saying that you need spousal support isn’t enough. You have to persuade the court that alimony is proper under the circumstances. One way to do that is to develop a budget that highlights your anticipated expenses in light of your income. This can give the court a roadmap of what you need after your divorce is finalized until such time as you can become self-sufficient.

Don’t leave money on the table by giving up on alimony

Spousal support can provide you with a strong financial lifeline as you focus on getting your post-divorce life together. But it’s probably not going to be handed to you. Instead, you need to be prepared to fight for it. So, take the time needed to gather relevant evidence and craft the strong legal arguments necessary to position yourself for success.

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