Under what legla circumstances is spousal support not given during a divorce? 15 Answers as of December 08, 2010

Under what circumstances would spousal support not be awarded in a divorce?

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Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
In determining whether or not to award spousal support, and in determining the amount and duration of spousal support, courts in Ohio are governed by R.C. 3105.18. In that statute, the following factors are listed:

(a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code;

(b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;

(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;

(d) The retirement benefits of the parties;

(e) The duration of the marriage;

(f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;

(g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;

(h) The relative extent of education of the parties;

(i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;

(j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any partys contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party;

(k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought;

(l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;

(m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that partys marital responsibilities;

(n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

There is no specific method spelled out for arriving at a figure, and I find that there can be very different approaches to spousal support taken by each individual court or judge. Generally speaking, if the parties' incomes are relatively close or the division of marital debt is relatively even, or if the duration of the marriage was short, it would be unusual for spousal support to be awarded.

Adultery is often raised by a client as a basis for an award or a denial of spousal support. In my experience, this is usually not considered an important factor in itself, though ongoing cohabitation in a subsequent relationship may be.

I have seen several cases where a person has been unrepresented, or in some cases, poorly represented, and ended up agreeing to a spousal support order that was considerably higher or lower than I would have expected based on the parties' circumstances. I strongly caution that spousal support is a nebulous thing, and it is generally unwise to enter into any sort of agreement on spousal support without first consulting with an attorney who is experienced in this area.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/8/2010
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Your question erroneously presumes that spousal support will be awarded most of the time - that is incorrect. In Colorado there is a presumptive formula approach to spousal support while the proceedings are underway. However, once the divorce is final the question of whether any spousal support will be awarded is a case-by-case decision. Simply stated, the principles applied by the Judge in making that discretionary decision involve balancing the needs of the person seeking support against the ability of the other person to pay support in the context of each spouse's financial circumstances at that time. Simply stated, the answer to your question is that spousal support will never be awarded when it is not needed or when it would be impossible for the other spouse to pay it. But, each case has to be decided on its own facts and circumstances and there is no absolute or automatic rule to be applied.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/8/2010
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
There are many different reasons why spousal support is not awarded in New Hampshire. It depends on the length of the marriage, fault if any, and other case specific facts.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 12/8/2010
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
The court looks at many factors when determining an alimony award; and it does not have to assign equal weight to all the factors. In general a short marriage and about the same income are factors against an alimony award. If you wish to discuss further please contact me.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 12/8/2010
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
Well there a few, but main one is your spouse's inability to pay versus your need.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/8/2010
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Factually where the there is no need for spousal support:

    1. Where the spouse seeking support has a larger income

    2. Where the paying spouse has no income or is disabled.

    3. Where the paying spouse has agreed to pay all of the marital debt

    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 12/8/2010
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    I am afraid the question is far too broad. Spousal support awards are based on the need of the spouse seeking the maintenance award and the opposing spouse's ability to pay. Such determinations also consider sacrifices made to care during the marriage and the Standard of Living the parties had enjoyed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/8/2010
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    There is no way to tell you what facts or circumstances need to exist or not exist for a judge to not award spousal support. Please look up California Family Code section 4320. You will see that there are 14 factors a court can consider when determining whether, and how much, spousal support to award. By the way, I'm not referring to temporary or "guideline" support, but what is loosely called "permanent" support, which is typically awarded at the conclusion of the dissolution process. The other consideration involves the marital standard of living established during the marriage, and one parties ability to self support and maintain that standard of living based on their income and/or assets relative to the other party's income and/or assets.

    As for temporary, or "guideline" support, that is usually determined by a program called "DissoMaster." It is based on an algorithm, which takes into consideration both parties income and expenses. Again, as for what specific facts have to exist or not for a court to not order temporary spousal support is hard to state hypothetically, other than the generic situation where the spouse asking for support does not need it (nor is it warranted) because they have sufficient assets and/or income to support themselves (by covering all their expenses without contribution by the other spouse) during the pendency of the dissolution proceeding.

    I would strongly suggest that you talk to a local family law lawyer who can run some support calculations based on the specific facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/8/2010
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    Spousal support is not automatic in a divorce, and whether or not it will be granted depends on several factors. The most likely reason why it would not be granted is because both spouses make roughly the same income, or the marriage was of very short duration.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/7/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey A. Norris
    Law Office of Geoffrey A. Norris | Geoffrey A. Norris
    Spousal support in California is complex. At the temporary level, before you are divorced some counties use a guideline calculation wherein income information is put into the computer and a number is generated for spousal support at the temporary level. At the permanent level where the judgment is entered setting forth support, the court is required to follow the guidelines of Family Code section 4320 which list a number of different considerations for the court to use in deciding the issue, such as length of marriage, ability to pay, time dedicated to domestic duties, education and training, etc...

    To not order support under either of these circumstances is possible, but again depends on the facts of the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/7/2010
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Some circumstances under which Spousal Support might not be awarded include when the spouses have substantially equivalent earnings (or the spouse seeking support has greater earnings than the other spouse), when the spouse has a separate estate sufficient for that spouse's support, a criminal conviction of an abusive spouse,documented evidence of any history of violence, and when a spouse is cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/7/2010
    Naziri Hanassab LLP
    Naziri Hanassab LLP | Vahid Naziri
    Pre-Marital Agreement or if the parties agree in the Judgment Decree.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/7/2010
    Harris Law Firm, pc
    Harris Law Firm, pc | Robert Harris
    Assuming you are in Oregon, there are three types of spousal support. Whether any of the three will be awarded is a matter of discretion for the court. There is no set formula. But the things that can make a difference are ages of spouses, health of spouses, current income, whether one spouse gave up a career to stay home, what education levels did each obtain during the marriage, how long the marriage lasted, amount of property owned by spouses. Non wage income available to each, standard of living they enjoyed while married, what county the dissolution is in, and who the Judge is.

    So basically, there is no standard answer. The only person who can advise you intelligently is an experienced family law attorney, and even then, only after some discussion and investigation into some of the above issues.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/7/2010
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