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Do most stay-at-home parents need spousal support?

Spousal support is an integral part of some divorces. Imagine being a spouse who supported your spouse while he or she went to school, achieved new heights in his or her career and worked away from home. Maybe you were left to raise your family. As a stay-at-home parent, your skills in industry and your career went unused, making it harder for you to get back to work following a divorce.

Your situation isn't unique; many people struggle with financial needs following divorce. If you have a history of staying at home or relying on your spouse's income, then spousal support could be one answer to this issue. While every state has its own way of determining if you qualify for spousal support, it's possible to get an idea of your spousal support need and if that need is going to be met ahead of time.

In some cases, you and your spouse can work out a fair payment for support. In other cases, the judge looks at what you earn, what your spouse earns, your potential to earn and how long it would take you to recover financially. Other factors play a role in the decision as well. Finally, the judge determines what a fair amount for alimony is and how long your spouse should pay.

As a stay-at-home parent, you may be asking yourself if you really need spousal support. It's okay to let the judge decide or to talk to your attorney about what you truly need to live the life you're accustomed to. With help, you can get support for a fair amount of time.

Source: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, "Understanding Spousal Support," Nancy Kurn, CPA, CDFA, JD, MBA, accessed Dec. 27, 2017

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