Divorce should not leave you destitute or with a significantly lower standard of living than what you enjoyed during the marriage. The law in North Dakota requires the spouse in a better financial position to pay interim support to the other spouse, pending the divorce proceedings’ determination. If you cannot agree on an amount with your former spouse, the court will decide on a reasonable amount.
Spousal support can either be temporary or permanent. Unless agreed otherwise, spousal support may terminate upon remarriage of the disadvantaged spouse or cohabitation that resembles a marriage that has lasted for over one year.
Determining spousal support
The amount of spousal support that the court may award depends on several factors. They include:
- The age of the spouses
- The length of the marriage
- The earning abilities of both spouses
- The health and physical conditions of the spouses
- Any other factors the courts may consider material
Are spousal support payments enforceable?
Court-ordered spousal support is legally enforceable, and if your former spouse is not paying up, you may resort to the courts for relief. If they are not paying out of malice, the court may hold them in contempt of court or issue orders to correct the situation, such as withholding their income.
You can modify spousal support orders
As the paying spouse, if you find it hard to meet the financial obligation placed upon you by the court, you may apply for a revision of the amounts involved. The court will consider your reasons, such as a pay cut you took or if your business is not performing as it was when the orders were issued. Remember, spousal support is not meant to penalize you.
Spousal support is one of the many aspects of your divorce that you should handle carefully. It will help you adjust to life post-divorce before laying out your long-term financial plans.