Family Law

Spousal Support

Spousal support has traditionally differed from child support in that it has been expected that a needy spouse will make the necessary effort to get back into the work force and become self-sufficient as soon as possible. Therefore, spousal support in the past has usually been intended to last only a few years.

This is still the case when marriages of only a few years' duration end in divorce. However, in recent years the courts have begun to recognize that, in long-term marriages, often a spouse who has stayed home for many years to raise a family (traditionally it is the wife) has lost the potential he or she once had to be financially successful even if a return to the work force is possible. All those years of developing marketable skills and experiences have been sacrificed and can never be replaced. For this reason, in situations like these the courts will now award spousal-support payments that go on for many years-perhaps over a lifetime.