Are you going through a divorce in North Dakota? You might have talked to your divorce attorney about spousal support (also known as alimony). If your spouse acquired a large amount of assets during your marriage while you did the majority of the work of raising the children and/or keeping the house, you may feel entitled to either part of those assets, or a regular income from your spouse after your divorce. The fact is, spousal support isn't awarded as commonly as it once was. This goes for every state. According to AlimonyHQ.com, the guidelines for awarding spousal support in North Dakota are particularly vague. In every case, it is up to the sole discretion of the court to decide if your request for spousal support has merit.
However, as your divorce lawyer will tell you, there are certain circumstances under which a judge is more likely to award spousal support than others. If you seem like a likely candidate for a support award, your lawyer will work with you to put together a strong case in your favor. Here are the things you need to know about getting spousal support in North Dakota.
1. There Are Different Types Of Spousal Support In North Dakota
If you are awarded spousal support in North Dakota, it will be one of three different kinds:
- Permanent--This is spousal support that is awarded on an indefinite basis to someone who doesn't have the ability to financially support themselves. This could be due to having small children at home to raise, having a disability, or any number of other reasons. The court will likely review the situation periodically to see if the situation of the spouse receiving support has changed.
- Temporary--This is spousal support that is awarded when the divorce petition is filed. It is terminated when the divorce is final. It is awarded just to give the requesting spouse the money necessary to start their new, single life on solid financial footing.
- Rehabilitative--This is support that is awarded for just as long as it takes the receiving spouse to gain enough education and/or training to get a job and be able to financially support themselves.
2. The Court Looks At A Variety Of Factors When Deciding Whether To Award Spousal Support
Because spousal support is decided on a case by case basis in North Dakota, the court may take any number of factors into account when making a decision. Some of the most common factors the court looks at include:
- The length of the marriage (longer marriages are more likely to get a spousal support award for one of the spouses)
- The age and health of the spouse requesting support
- The standard of living the requesting spouse has been used to in the marriage
- The financial resources of the requesting spouse (including money and property)
- The ability of the requesting spouse to earn enough money to support themselves
- The conduct of each spouse during the marriage
3. Spousal Support Payments Affect The Taxes Of Each Spouse
Spousal support payments can be counted as tax deductions by the spouse who is paying. The spouse receiving the payments is required to claim those payments as income. This income is untaxed, but you may still end up owing money in taxes if you receive spousal support. Your divorce attorney can help you determine if asking for support is a sound financial decision for you based upon your potential tax implications.
The courts in North Dakota have a lot of discretion when deciding whether or not to award spousal support. The general feeling of the court is that ideally both spouses should be able to support themselves.
You will have to prove that you can't support yourself at the level of living to which you have become accustomed for support to be considered. If you and your divorce attorney can prove this, you have a good chance of getting one of the three types of spousal support awards. Click here for more information about divorce and spousal support.