You’ve been married for around 15 years, and during that time, you’ve given up a lot for your spouse. They wanted to pursue a difficult career, so you worked hard while they attended school. Now, they’ve graduated and started a lucrative career. You started staying home, so that you could focus on your children. You raised them for a few years, leaving your career behind and trusting that your spouse would support you. It’s at this point that they tell you that they want a divorce.

This is a prime example of a time when you may want to seek spousal support from your spouse. If your spouse doesn’t work for years and relies on your support, it’s only fair that they support you as you return to the workforce. Additionally, as the lesser-earning spouse or as one who has left the workforce, you may need additional support to maintain the lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to while married.

Spousal support isn’t a punishment

Some people seem to think that seeking spousal support is a way to punish a spouse who earns more. The reality is that it isn’t a punishment at all. Instead, it’s a way to make things fairer. As the spouse who supported your loved one through tough times and who was always there for them, it would be unfair to allow you to go with less just because of a divorce. You may be able to negotiate payments monthly or in a lump sum, so that you have the financial security you need as a newly single person.

Should you negotiate support before going to court?

It can be beneficial to decide on support before you go to court to have a judge decide. One reason for this is because it prevents you from having to go to trial over support. That keeps whatever decisions you make together private. Another good reason is because it’s less costly to make a decision outside court. If you and your spouse can agree on a fair amount for spousal support each month, then other factors don’t need to apply to your case.

If you need spousal support, you shouldn’t shy away from asking for it. You’ve been placed into a difficult position, and you have a right to stand up for what you need to be financially secure moving forward.