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Understanding spousal support in divorces: key questions answered

When a marriage ends, questions about spousal support often arise. Here are some common queries answered to provide clarity in navigating this aspect of divorce.

What determines spousal support eligibility?

Courts may award spousal support, also known as alimony, based on the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, their ages, and their health.

The courts also look at how much money the spouse who needs help has and if the other spouse can afford to pay.

Is spousal support always permanent?

Spousal support may be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Usually, courts grant temporary support to help a spouse become self-supporting.

In contrast, courts may grant permanent support in cases of long-term marriages or when factors like age or disability prevent one spouse from supporting themselves.

Can spousal support orders be modified?

If they find that their circumstances change, such as experiencing a job loss or an increase in income, people can modify spousal support orders according to the North Dakota Century Code. However, modifications are not automatic and must be requested through the court.

What happens if a spouse refuses to pay support?

Failure to pay court-ordered spousal support can result in legal consequences, including wage garnishment, property liens, and even contempt of court charges. It’s important to address non-payment issues promptly through legal channels.

Understanding spousal support can help you navigate the complexities of divorce more effectively. Whether you are seeking support or may be required to pay it, knowing your rights and obligations is essential.