Do you qualify for alimony? The first thing you should know about alimony is that it’s now called “spousal support”  in the state of California. Due to changes in the way marriages work in the eyes of the law, women aren’t the only people receiving financial help from their ex-spouses. In fact, men can also ask for alimony after divorce, as long as they meet particular criteria.

Like child support and a divorce itself, alimony is driven mostly by numbers. The main factor is how much you and your ex-spouse earn, and if there isn’t a huge difference, then no spousal support will be awarded. For example, if you file for spousal support and your husband makes less or as much as you do, it’s unlikely you’ll qualify for any sort of financial payment from him unless children are involved. However, just because you make less than your husband doesn’t mean you will get support.

The court considers a number of other factors, including “domestic duties.” If you quit your job to take care of your ex or your children, you may qualify more than someone who doesn’t. The court also looks at how you raised the children (if any, and while they were at home), and checks to see whether they were homeschooled or not. In addition, it’s important whether your job training is current, and whether you could be competitive in today’s market. Courts are more likely to award you spousal support if you gave up your career many years ago to take care of the home.

If spousal support is not awarded, sometimes rehabilitative support is. This support is usually temporary and will help you get the training, schooling, or certification you need to enter back into the workforce.

If you are not employable or the courts decide you cannot find a job that would bring enough in to support yourself, your award may be higher. You should seek professional guidance from a lawyer if you believe you might qualify for spousal support as the guidelines can get a little complicated.

Remember, spousal support isn’t guaranteed by any means, and it’s important to consider what may happen if you are denied by the courts. Often enough, the money you would make from a career or job would be higher than what you would receive from spousal support. To discuss the best options for you, contact a quality lawyer today.