3. Calculate the amount of spousal support
Question & AnswerWhat is spousal support?
The amount of and how long it is paid depends on factors like:
- how long you and your partner lived together
- if you have children together and who has been caring for them
- each partner’s income
- each partner’s age
- the roles each partner had during the marriage
- each partner’s mental and physical health
- the ability of each partner to support themselves
Support amounts are usually higher, and paid longer, where:
- there are big differences between the partners’ incomes,
- they lived together for a long time, and
- they had children.
Amounts are smaller if there are smaller differences between the partners’ incomes and their relationships were shorter.
Courts use the (SSAGs) to help them decide how much spousal support should be paid and for how long. These are only guidelines, not laws. A judge can order more or less support than what the guidelines say.
The SSAG formula calculates a range of low, middle, and high support amounts, as well as the length of time spousal support might be paid. This can help you or a judge decide what amount of spousal support is appropriate and for how long, depending on the facts of your case.
You need special software to calculate spousal support using the SSAGs. This free online calculator can give you a rough idea but it only does simple calculations, and it only takes employment income into account.