This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

What Spousal Support Can I Get After 16 Years of Marriage?

Question from Tanya, What Spousal Support Can I Get After 16 Years of Marriage?

Answer from AI:

When a long-term marriage ends, particularly one lasting over a decade like 16 years, questions about spousal support (often referred to as alimony) become paramount, especially if one spouse has been the primary breadwinner. In the United States, spousal support laws vary by state, but there are general principles that apply when determining eligibility and the amount of support. It’s important to note that the specifics of your situation, including the fact that your husband has been unfaithful and has been the main financial provider, can influence the outcome.

Understanding Spousal Support

Spousal support is designed to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing a continuing income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Types of Spousal Support: Temporary, rehabilitative, and permanent are the main types. The nature of your support will depend on your specific circumstances.
  • Factors Influencing Support: Courts consider the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, each spouse’s financial resources and earning capacity, contributions to the marriage (including homemaking and raising children), and the age and health of both parties.
  • Impact of Infidelity: In some states, marital misconduct such as infidelity can affect alimony awards, either by influencing the amount or by barring support altogether. However, this varies significantly by state.

Steps to Determine Spousal Support

1. **Understand Your State’s Laws**: Since laws vary, start by researching your state’s specific guidelines on spousal support. This can give you a preliminary idea of what to expect.

2. **Evaluate Your Financial Needs**: Document your current financial situation, including your standard of living during the marriage and your current and future financial needs.

3. **Consider Mediation**: Before going to court, you might consider mediation. A mediator can help you and your spouse reach an agreement on spousal support without a contentious court battle.

4. **Consult a Family Law Attorney**: For personalized advice and to understand how your state’s laws apply to your situation, consult with a family law attorney. They can provide guidance, represent you in negotiations, and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Key Considerations

– **Duration of Support**: For marriages of long duration, such as yours, courts often award longer-term or even permanent spousal support, especially if you have been out of the workforce.
– **Modification of Support**: Be aware that spousal support orders can sometimes be modified based on changes in circumstances, such as a significant change in either party’s financial situation.
– **Tax Implications**: Note that as of 2019, spousal support is no longer deductible for the payer nor taxable to the recipient for federal income tax purposes for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018.

It’s crucial to seek legal advice tailored to your specific situation. A legal professional can help navigate the complexities of your case, including the impact of your husband’s infidelity and your long-term financial security.

For more information on spousal support and to find resources in your state, you may visit the USA.gov Divorce section or the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section. Remember, while general information can provide a good starting point, only a qualified legal professional can offer advice specific to your circumstances.

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