Did you know that Rhode Island had the lowest divorce rate in 2018? If you are part of the 787,251 divorces that happen every year and are wondering about spousal support, you are in the right place. We are going to go over how is spousal support calculated to clear up any confusion you might have.

Keep reading to learn more about the few factors that play into the amount that an ex-spouse will receive.

How Is Spousal Support Calculated?

Before we dive into how spousal support is calculated it is important to keep in mind that there are different spousal support tax laws in every state. We are going to go over what to expect in general but please make sure that you do your homework to understand your specific state laws.

Typically, the amount calculated is based on the ability to pay and the spouse’s need (the recipient spouse). Three other factors include how long the marriage was, the lifestyle during marriage, and the age and health of each spouse. If the couple has kids then this is another factor that the judge will take into consideration.

To give you an idea of what to expect, if you were in a long term marriage where you both worked and had incomes that were comparable then more than likely there will be no spousal support put in place. Now, if you were in a long time marriage and only one spouse worked while the other was a stay at home parent, then the stay at home parent will typically receive the spousal support.


The reason there is a law about spousal support is to keep unfair economic impacts at a limit. For example, a spouse that earns no income or lower income is not left with nothing because of a divorce. If you have been awarded to receive support until the payor dies then you will want to put a request for your ex-spouse to have to carry life insurance where you are a beneficiary.

This will cover you in the event that they die before you do. You will be able to receive money and not suffer any financial consequences from losing your spousal support.

There are some courts that will give one spouse temporary help financially until they are financially independent. This gives the spouse with little to no income a chance to gain the skills they need to find a job, or a chance to go back to school.

Feeling Like a Pro?

Now that you are more aware of how is spousal support calculated you will be able to navigate through this portion of your divorce with better knowledge and understanding. It is always a great idea to contact an attorney to make sure that you receive the amount you deserve or if you are the spouse paying you are paying a fair amount.

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