Disagreements are at the root of plenty of divorces, especially when you don’t see eye to eye on finances. Going your separate ways may be the only option when things reach a boiling point, but that may not put an end to intertwined interests.

Financial issues rank as one of the top reasons for divorce, according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. And just because you’re going your separate ways, it’s unlikely the split will instantly resolve those differences. Courts can step in and award ongoing support for your spouse, solidifying the monetary tie between the two of you.

Quick cash

The court can decide on support before your divorce is over. A judge won’t likely leave your partner flapping in the wind if they can’t support themselves or have nowhere to live. This temporary support will likely stay in place until a more permanent solution is found, either through a one-time asset assignment or continued spousal support.

Paying up

When it comes time to make a judgment on the terms of the support you’ll need to provide, there are plenty of factors that determine the nature, amount and duration of payments:

  • Income, earning ability and retirement benefits for you and your spouse
  • The physical, mental and emotional health of you both
  • How long your marriage lasted and your standard of living
  • How much your partner contributed to your professional education and training
  • The amount your partner lost out on an advancing career if they prioritized keeping the home

While there are a few more specific instances, the law gives the courts some final leeway. It spells out an allowance for courts to use any material that it finds relevant to getting the amount right.

Tallying costs

The courts might see fit to assign some of your future earnings to your spouse, depending on the circumstances. Knowing how situations affect support can be crucial in developing a plan for making sure they don’t get more than their fair share.