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Understanding alimony: Know what to expect

One thing that many couples don't want to talk about during a divorce is alimony. Alimony, which is also known as spousal support, is an important factor in some divorces. It is particularly common for a couple to have to discuss alimony if they have a large discrepancy in income.

For example, if you were a stay-at-home mom and gave up your career to watch your children, it may be very difficult for you to return to the workforce. Even if you can return to the workforce right away, you may not be making as much money as you would have if you had been working instead of staying home with your children. Regardless of your reasoning for staying home, your spouse may need to pay spousal support to you until your income improves.

There is no specific length of time that spousal support will last. However, it is common for it to last around half the length of the time of your marriage. For example, if you are married for five years, then it wouldn't be unheard of to have spousal support for two years or slightly longer. Keep in mind that every situation is different, and factors such as your age, health, education, current earnings and others will also play a role in determining how much spousal support, if any, one spouse receives.

Our site has more information on spousal support and what you should do if you believe that you are entitled to alimony. If you gave up your career, your spouse could be responsible for helping you as you build up your income.

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