Spousal support can be an important part of your divorce settlement in ensuring you have enough money to support yourself after divorce.

In the case that one of you earns more than the other and the lesser-earning spouse cannot support themselves, alimony can be a solution. Alimony can be used to make up a difference between your wages, particularly in cases where one spouse earns much more than the other. For example, a spouse earning $40,000 married to one earning six figures would benefit from support to help them live a similar lifestyle to what they’ve become accustomed to.

What can you do to show that alimony is something you need in your divorce settlement?

One thing you can do is sit down and work out a budget. With your budget, you can show how much money you’ll have coming in each month as well as your bills and expenses. You should account for everything from necessities to the activities you usually participate in.

If you have taken time away from your career, you should think about how long it would take you to find a new job or to build a career up in the field you want to join. If you plan to go to school, how long will it take? These factors can play a role in the decision about how much alimony you’ll receive.

Does everyone receive alimony if they earn less than their spouses?

No, not everyone will. However, if you can show that you need alimony to support yourself temporarily or that you’ve been married so long that you require alimony to support your lifestyle moving forward, you may be in a good position to ask for it.

Alimony is designed to be temporary, so it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a long-term spousal support payout. However, it may be possible to negotiate for a lump-sum settlement of your alimony payments to help you boost your savings or income until you can get back on your feet or work out a monthly plan where you’ll receive payments that keep you afloat.