A divorce it can seriously impact the finances of the spouses, especially when one spouse earned much less income than the other. You typical example is a 20 year marriage where the wife stayed home to watch the children and is not able to easily enter the workforce. In this situation of long term marriage where there is a sizeable discrepancy the court may order spousal support. Spousal support is a court-ordered payment one spouse makes to another to help the receiving spouse avoid financial hardship after divorce.
In Las Vegas, receiving spousal support is not guaranteed. The court has complete authority to determine whether spousal support is appropriate in a given situation and, if so, in how much.
Types of Spousal Support in Nevada
- Temporary maintenance — Under Nevada Revised Statute 125.040 the Court may order one spouse to make payments on a temporary basis to ensure the receiving spouse has adequate financial resources during divorce proceedings.
- Temporary alimony — This is included in the divorce decree and stipulates that one spouse must make payments to another for a specific time frame after the divorce is finalized.
- Permanent alimony — The decree may indicate a spouse is required to make payments until the receiving spouse remarries or either spouse passes away.
- Rehabilitative alimony — A spouse may be required to provide financial support while the receiving spouse engages in career training or education.
Temporary maintenance is usually paid in regular installments, while alimony may be paid in installments or as a lump sum at the discretion of the Court. In its 2010 ruling in the case of Schwartz v. Schwartz, however, the Nevada Supreme Court determined that when the paying spouse is extremely elderly, wealthy or ill, the judge must strongly consider requiring that a lump sum payment be made to the receiving spouse.
Alimony is the financial support that one spouse is required to pay to the other after separation or divorce. In typical situations, the spouse with the larger income pays alimony to the spouse with the lesser income, although other factors are taken into consideration. Depending on the circumstances, alimony may be paid as a lump sum or in regular installments on a continuing basis.
What Are the Factors that Affect Alimony in Nevada?
Unlike child support in Nevada, there is no established formula used to determine the amount of alimony or whether alimony is appropriate in a given situation; instead, it is a subjective determination made by the presiding Nevada divorce court judge. The judge will consider a number of factors including:
NRS 125.150 states that the Court can award spousal support in any manner it deems to be “just and equitable.” The factors the judge will take into consideration when determining the appropriate amount of support include.
- The length of marriage.
- Overall financial situation of each spouse.
- The occupation, present income and earning potential of each spouse.
- Training needs of the receiving spouse.
- Standard of living during the marriage.
What Is the Duration of Alimony Payments?
When ongoing alimony payments are made (as opposed to a lump sum payment), they generally must continue until the death of either spouse or until the dependent spouse remarries. When rehabilitate support is awarded, the dependent spouse is typically given a predetermined amount of time to complete any necessary training and to become fully self-sufficient.
Can the Amount of Alimony Change Over Time?
In certain situations, the amount of the required alimony payments may be modified. In general, a change in income for the paying spouse of 20 percent or more could constitute grounds for payment modification. Either spouse can ask the court to review the change in circumstances to determine if a payment modification is in order.
Modifying Spousal Support
As mentioned, an individual receiving permanent spousal support in installments will continue to do so until death or remarriage; however, the amount may be modified if circumstances change. In general, a change in income of at least 20 percent is necessary to petition the Court for modification.