When a marriage is dissolved, many changes must take place within a family. For an individual who previously relied on the support of their spouse for living expenses, the time during and following a divorce can be financially stressful. In Louisiana, a spouse who makes less than the other can receive spousal support, also known as alimony.

Louisiana law recognizes two types of spousal support:

  1. Interim Spousal Support
  2. Final Period Spousal Support

Interim Spousal Support is financial support given to an individual while a divorce is in process. This is usually a payment given while the judgement for final period spousal support is pending. When considering whether to require one spouse to pay interim spousal support, the court will consider:

  1. The degree to which the spouse making less money needs the support
  2. The ability of the spouse making more money to provide the support
  3. The standard of living of each spouse during the marriage

Interim Spousal Support ends when a decision about Final Period Spousal Support is made, either denying or granting it, or 180 days after the divorce is final, which ever comes first. The two types of spousal support will not overlap, meaning Final Period Spousal Support will not be paid during the same time as Interim Spousal Support.

Final Period Spousal Support often depends on the role the spouse in need played in the end of the marriage. However, even if they are not found to be at fault for the ending of the marriage, and require financial support because of their income level they may still not be awarded the support. There are several factors that a court will consider when making this decision, including:

  1. Income of both parties
  2. Financial responsibilities of both parties
  3. Capacity to earn of both parties
  4. Any applicable child custody decisions
  5. Health and age of both parties
  6. Tax consequences of the support
  7. Length of marriage
  8. Abuse allegations of either party

Once a Final Period Spousal Support is awarded, it may be changed or terminated if the conditions of parties change. A few examples of this are:

  1. Either party dies
  2. The receiver of support remarrying
  3. The receiver of support being found to co-habitate with another individual in a manner similar to marriage

Once spouses separate from each other and file legal pleadings, one spouse may have a claim for support from the other. This legal claim is termed spousal support, formerly referred to as alimony. Two forms of spousal support exist. Interim periodic support may be awarded depending on the income and expenses of the parties while the divorce is pending. Final periodic spousal support may be awarded if the requesting spouse is free from fault in the dissolution of the marriage, and does not have sufficient means of support. Attorney Lorraine McCormick can examine your case and determine if you are entitled to either interim periodic spousal support and/or final periodic spousal support. Click here to contact our office.