Temporary vs. Permanent Spousal Support Explained

Temporary vs. Permanent Spousal Support Explained

This edition of our dialog on family law deals with spousal support. I want to talk about two components of spousal support, temporary spousal support and permanent spousal support. Temporary spousal support is payable from the date we file the petition for dissolution to the date we acquire a final judgment of dissolution. Temporary spousal support is rather mechanical. We need some income information, some expense information, and some tax deduction information. With that, we can rather reliably predict the appropriate amount of temporary spousal support.

Permanent spousal support is a different animal. It is very complicated. It is that support payable from the date we acquire a final judgment of dissolution until the permanent support ends. I want to make something very clear here. People hear the term permanent spousal support, and they think that spousal support lasts permanently or forever. Not the case. Permanent spousal support is that paid from the date of the final judgment of dissolution until it ends. For a short term marriage, that is, a marriage of duration of ten years or less, the presumptively correct term of permanent spousal support is one half of the duration of the marriage. In other words, if a marriage is one of eight years, the presumptively correct duration of permanent support is four years.

A marriage of ten years or longer is what we refer to as a long term marriage. The rules related to long term marriage are very complicated. I welcome you to view our other editions of our family law dialog on permanent support where we talk about the complex nature of permanent support. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about your case, and about spousal support in particular, I welcome you to come on in, spend some time with us, and I know we can help you understand your rights or obligations related to spousal support.

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