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Do I automatically get spousal support?

There are cases where people think they automatically qualify for spousal support. For example, if you have stayed at home for 10 years to help raise your children, it makes sense that you think spousal support would be automatic. After all, getting a job when you have been out of the workforce for so long may be difficult, and you may still have very young children.

However, many factors go into spousal support decisions. For example, if your soon-to-be ex has always had a low income, will pay child support and the two of you never really got by financially, you might not get alimony. Similarly, if you have stayed home to raise your children but have a lot of money in the bank from an inheritance, the courts might not compel spousal support.

The quality of your evidence

Often, spousal support comes down to the quality of the evidence presented to a judge. For example, if you enjoyed a high standard of living during the marriage, you or your attorney should present evidence pertaining to that. It could include appraisals of the house, of furniture and of jewelry that make clear going from that standard of living to a small studio apartment would be unfair. However, in Nevada, your spouse may have trusts that you cannot touch for purposes of alimony (child support, too).

One factor that often goes into spousal support is the length of the marriage. But what if you were married only three years but were together 15 years before that — and were financially supported most or all of that time? Some judges might consider the time before marriage, especially if you were in a same-sex relationship and not legally allowed to wed for many years.

Changes after divorce

Life situations change after divorce. Sometimes, your ex loses a job and seeks to lower spousal support payments. Sometimes, your ex may change jobs or get a huge pay increase, and you believe an alimony increase is warranted. These changes will not be automatic; you need to go to court.

Spousal support can be a complex issue with many influencing factors. An attorney can help you seek it or make a case for more support after a divorce.

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