In part 1 of our series on spousal support in Louisiana, we talked about interim support, and how to prove to the court that you need interim payments while your divorce is being finalized.
But around the time your divorce is finalized, if you requested final spousal support, the judge can make a decision about whether you qualify for spousal support in the long-term, and if you do, which kind of support and how much.
In part 2, our team of caring family law attorneys at Stanley-Wallace Law will be looking at final spousal support, and what you need to do in order to obtain final support.
Types of support awards
There are two types of spousal support that you can seek in Louisiana:
- Interim spousal support
- Final periodic spousal support
When the court makes a final decision about whether you qualify for spousal support after the divorce, if you request final support, it can also decide whether you qualify for final periodic support.
Periodic support is the most common type of spousal support in Louisiana. Periodic support is awarded when you’re able to make a living, but you need time and financial support in order to become independent or maintain your previous standard of living. In this scenario, the judge will determine an amount for your spouse to pay periodically, and a time frame for when those payments will end.
In some instances, the court may decide that it’s more appropriate for your ex to pay your spousal support in a lump sum, rather than periodic payments.
Factors that go into determining final support
In order for you to be awarded final spousal support, you will need to prove a number of things to the judge:
- Need and ability to pay: You need to show that you have a need for financial assistance, and that your ex-spouse is able to pay it.
- Fault: You will need to prove that you were not at fault for the divorce. It is very possible to get a no-fault divorce, but if the judge finds that you were at fault, this could lessen the amount of spousal support you get or disqualify you altogether.
- Evaluation: If you complete the above steps, the judge will then evaluate your situation, and come to a decision about the amount and duration of your spousal support payments based on the following factors:
- The income and means of each spouse
- The financial obligations of each spouse, including interim spousal support or child support
- The earning capacity of each spouse
- Whether custody impacts each spouse’s earning ability
- The time necessary for you to get back on your feet
- Each spouse’s health and age
- The duration of the marriage
- The tax consequences for both spouses
- Any history of domestic abuse
How to obtain final spousal support in Louisiana
Just like with interim support, you will need to prove the above factors to the judge in order to secure final spousal support.
The important parts are proving need, ability to pay, and lack of fault. Once you’ve established all of these things are true, you simply need to present the other information to the judge so that they can make an evaluation.
You will need an experienced divorce attorney in order to make sure you are receiving the full payment that you’re worth.
Contact a family law attorney in Slidell
At Stanley-Wallace Law, it’s our goal to make sure your life stays on track during and after your divorce. Spousal support is one of the most important resources available to you to make sure that this happens, and we will draw from our years of experience to make sure you are getting paid what you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and talk about your case.