If you are ending your marriage, you may be very concerned about the financial implications of your divorce. This is especially true if your spouse was a higher income earner than you are, or if you have been out of the workforce for any period of time and no longer make enough money on your own to support yourself.
You should talk with an experienced divorce attorney about what rights you have to financial support after your marriage comes to an end so you will know what to expect and how to plan to ensure financial stability even once you are no longer in your marriage.
Your attorney can not only help you to try to get sufficient support after you are no longer married but, if necessary, can assist you in asking the court to help you get support during the divorce process so you do not face financial devastation until your divorce has been finalized.
There are two different kinds of support payments that the law may mandate after a divorce occurs. Child support payments are one of those two types. Child support payments are intended to ensure that a custodial parent has enough money to care for a child.
If you have kids and your marriage is ending, child support is very likely to be ordered. The parent who spends less time physically caring for the child and/or who makes more money than the other parent will be required to pay support under standard guidelines applicable to all separations and divorces.
The other type of support is alimony, or spousal support. Alimony isn't required in all divorces. There are many different factors that could help to determine if your spouse is going to be required to pay you support after you are no longer married.
Some of the most important of the considerations include the length of your marriage, whether you helped to build your spouse's career, what your economic and other contributions were to the marriage, and whether you have the ability to earn a good living yourself or are reliant on your ex for support.
If you signed a prenuptial agreement that either waived your right to alimony or that imposed limits on the alimony that you will be able to receive, that agreement will probably be enforced by the court unless there was some problem when the contract was signed, such as with you and your ex not following the legal requirements for prenups or either spouse signing the agreement under conditions of duress. This is different than for child support. You cannot waive your child's right to support in a prenup and no limitations on child support found in a premarital agreement will be enforced.
If the court does decide you need spouse support, the support could be temporary or "permanent," which would mean it would last until you remarry.