Spousal Support

In Louisiana, alimony is known as “spousal support.” There are two types of spousal support in Louisiana:  interim and final.  Interim spousal support is support received by a spouse during the divorce process and for 6 months after the final divorce.  Interim spousal support is based upon three things:  the standard of living of the parties, the means of the receiving spouse, and the ability of the paying spouse to afford the support. Final spousal support is much narrower. It is spousal support paid to a spouse for a certain period of time after the divorce is over.  It typically does not last forever.  Furthermore, it is not based upon the standard of living of the spouse; it is based upon that spouse’s bare needs.  Bare needs would include rent, food, clothing, electricity. There may be other things included, but these are up to the discretion of the judge.

Interim Spousal Support

Interim spousal support is one of the most difficult things to estimate during a divorce.  There are so many different factors that go into it that it is hard to advise clients as to what the courts will do.  In order to find out a rough number on interim spousal support, we will need to see all of your expenses in order to figure out what your expenses are each month. We will also need to know the income of both parties.

Final Spousal Support

Final spousal support does not occur very often in Louisiana. It is really a vestige of times when women did not work outside of the home.  Some circumstances in which final spousal support would occur would be where a spouse seeks to retrain so that they can get a better job after the divorce. I have seen circumstances where a spouse would get final spousal support for a period of time after the divorce so that they can go to school and retrain.  I have also seen final spousal support in situations where one spouse is disabled.  In rare circumstances, there might be a spouse that has never worked outside of the home and is of an age where it would be difficult to get a job.  Even then, final spousal support is uncertain. I tell my clients who might not have worked in a while that if the divorce goes through, they need to be prepared to join the workforce.

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