When it comes to divorce or separation in New Mexico, one of the most common barriers to ending an unhealthy marriage is income disparity. Income disparity is when one spouse makes a significant amount more than the other. There are a lot of concerns that come with divorces when income disparity is a severe problem. In the following paragraphs, we’ll be discussing what options are available to help navigate your divorce while also facing income disparity. 


How To Get Assistance While Getting A Divorce From Your Spouse Who Makes More

 

One of the most commonly used tools for people who are facing divorce while dealing with income disparity is Interim Spousal Support. Interim Spousal Support is where the court orders spousal support be paid between the times that a family law court case is heard for the first time and when a final decision is made. Interim Spousal Support is designed to maintain the family home, financial responsibilities, and assets during the divorce. When an interim order for spousal support is requested, courts often tend to focus on the means and needs of the parties. Simply put, this means that the party who is making the request for financial support needs it and if the party receiving the request has the ability to pay it. It is extremely important to remember that interim support during the divorce does not determine post-divorce spousal support. 


Can I Get My Attorney Fees Paid For, Before The Divorce Is Settled?

 

Petitioning the court for attorney fees is a potential option, in addition to petitioning for interim spousal support. For spouses who have a lower income, attorney fees can be petitioned during the divorce proceedings so you can receive legal representation but attorney fees are typically decided after the divorce case is finalized but it is an option for you to pursue, so you are not at an undue disadvantage during the process of divorce. You can also petition the courts for attorney fees in response to unfounded motions filed by the opposing party or if you “win” your case. However, if you were to “win” your case the fees would not be awarded until after the case is finalized. 

 

Spousal Support Post-Divorce

 

Spousal Support Post-Divorce is an option to address income disparity between parties getting a divorce. Similar to Interim Spousal Support, post-divorce alimony is based on need and ability to pay. However, other factors such as length of the marriage and the spouses earning potential. Generally speaking, the longer you were married and the larger the disparity, the more likely it is that you will receive spousal support. As an example, if you and your spouse were married for 20 years and your spouse was the primary breadwinner, while you stayed home to handle the household duties, you can expect to receive a fair amount of spousal support. Now, if you and your spouse were married for 5 years and you made 35,000 while they made 55,000, it is not likely that you will receive spousal support, especially for an extended period of time. It’s important to remember that spousal support and child support are completely independent of each other. Receiving spousal support does not necessarily mean that you will receive child support. If you are facing divorce and an income disparity, we here at Genus Law Group understand that it is overwhelming, when facing a divorce and losing your financial support. We can assist you with your legal needs. We look forward to being able to assist you with your needs.

 
Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Child Support Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond