Around 1.6 million people get married each year, but around half of the marriages also end in divorce every year. Of course, most people don’t plan to divorce when they get married, yet it happens to many couples.

If you’re in the process of a divorce, you might talk to your lawyer about spousal support. Spousal support is another term for alimony, which many spouses receive after divorce.

You can fight for this if you wish, but you might not receive the money right away. Instead, it might take some time. Are you wondering how long it takes to receive this money?

Continue reading to learn the answer to this question.

Definition of Alimony

Alimony, also called spousal support, is similar to child support. Yet, it serves a different role.

Child support payments offer financial support to the parent with custodial rights of the children, while spousal support offers financial support for the lower-earning spouse. 

The purpose of alimony is to allow the lower-earning spouse the ability to survive financially after a divorce. The spouse receiving the money must prove they need it to keep a similar lifestyle after divorce as before. 

Therefore, receiving alimony requires a court order. The court also approves the amount the spouse receives and the timeframe for the support. Alimony doesn’t always last forever. 

Qualifying for Spousal Support

For the court to approve a spouse’s alimony request, the spouse must prove they meet the requirements for alimony payments. Each state has laws relating to alimony, including Pennsylvania.

First, you must prove that you earn less money than your spouse. So, you can’t request alimony if you earn more than your spouse. You must supply evidence that shows you earn less money to qualify for spousal support. 

Secondly, the court might make you prove that you’re not at fault for the divorce. In other words, you might disqualify yourself from getting alimony if you caused the divorce from infidelity or another qualifying reason. 

Additionally, the court will need to know why you’re requesting the money. As a result, you might need to show evidence that explains why you need alimony after your divorce. 

You’ll need a good lawyer when divorcing. Your attorney can help you determine if you qualify for spousal support and ways to prove it. They’ll also help you calculate an amount to request in your case. 

Effects of a Prenuptial Agreement After Divorce

Of course, having a prenuptial agreement changes everything. A prenuptial agreement is a contract you create before getting married.

The purpose is to outline the effects of a divorce if this happens to you and your spouse. It outlines how you’ll split assets and debts and discusses the other divorce money issues.

Additionally, it might state information about the children and many other things. Unfortunately, most couples don’t use prenuptial agreements, but some do.

Prenups offer many benefits, so you should consider getting one before marrying again.

If you chose a prenuptial agreement before getting married, it likely tells you how alimony works if your marriage ends in divorce. You’ll have a better chance of getting spousal support if the prenup states that you get it.

In other words, you won’t have to fight with the court or spouse about alimony. The court must honor what the prenuptial agreement states. 

However, you might have to fight with your spouse to get spousal support otherwise. For example, you might have to prove the things listed above to qualify for it. Again, your lawyer can help you determine how to proceed.

Ask for Temporary Support

So, the question is, “how soon will you get your spousal support during your divorce?” The answer varies. However, many spouses receive it during the divorce proceedings. 

Your lawyer can ask the court for a temporary support order during the divorce proceedings. If the court approves it, you’ll start receiving alimony very quickly.

Of course, the timing also depends on how soon your spouse sends it. But they should send it immediately if the court approves a temporary support order. 

The court might order a monthly or weekly payment, and your spouse must follow this order to avoid consequences. You should know that a temporary order ends when you reach the divorce settlement. 

Support Might Change After the Divorce

A temporary order provides compensation to a spouse during the divorce, which is vital financially for that spouse to get through this time period. After all, divorces can take months or years.

However, when the divorce finalizes, this temporary order ends. If the court approves spousal support afterward, your spouse should begin paying this immediately.

The new amount might be the same, higher, or lower than the temporary amount.

Additionally, you might not be entitled to spousal support indefinitely. Most spouses qualify for it for a period.

Therefore, you have time to make necessary life changes to better your life while receiving this financial support. For example, the court might approve it for five years.

If this is the case, you’ll have five years to go to college or work hard to develop a career that pays well. 

One thing to note is that you can take your spouse back to court if they don’t pay the spousal support the court ordered. Judges hold people in contempt of court for failing to abide by court orders.

Contact a Law Firm for Help

Receiving spousal support is common after divorce, but you must qualify for it. Additionally, you’ll see that it might take some time to receive it.

If you’re ready to file for divorce or need help after a divorce, you can seek help from a law firm that offers divorce services. 

Contact us at Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC in PA for assistance with your divorce or spousal support case.