If you find yourself thinking about divorce, you likely look forward to a future where you are independent from your spouse. However, the process of regaining true independence doesn’t occur overnight.

You may find yourself needing financial support from your former spouse during your transition to living separately. Spousal support, also sometimes called alimony, can help you transition to an independent life. Do you have a situation that justifies requesting spousal support?

Have your household contributions decreased your earning potential?

One of the most common reasons for people to seek alimony involves them leaving the workforce in order to care for the marital home or children. If you chose to be a stay-at-home spouse to support the family, doing so likely reduced your earning potential substantially.

You may need to start at entry-level positions that don’t offer much compensation or even go back to school before you can secure a job that pays a living wage. Given that your spouse was likely able to focus more on their career because of your sacrifices, it is reasonable to expect that they will support you when you return to work.

Do you have health needs or parenting responsibilities that keep you out of work?

Maybe you are the proud parent of a child with autism, cerebral palsy or down syndrome who is dependent on your care and will likely never live without full-time support. Maybe you just got diagnosed with cancer, which is why your spouse filed for divorce.

If you have parental responsibilities involving a child with special needs or health concerns yourself, you may have a solid reason to request spousal support as part of your pending divorce. In fact, you can potentially get temporary support ordered on the day that you file for divorce.

The amount of support will depend on your family circumstances and support duration will depend on the reason that you need it. The harder it will be for you to go back to work and the longer you were married, the more likely it is for you to receive longer periods of support.

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