The Difference between Post Separation Support and Alimony

What is Post Separation Support?

Post separation support (PSS) is a temporary form of alimony. A dependent spouse may be entitled to PSS pending a full trial on alimony. You are a dependent spouse if you are without the means to provide for or maintain your own accustomed standard of living without financial contribution from the other spouse.  

Typically, a hearing on PSS is very short, and the judge will determine whether you are a dependent spouse and whether your spouse has the ability to pay you any sum of support. Post separation support can last for a few months, or until your trial on alimony.

What is Alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, is payment for the support and maintenance of a spouse or former spouse. Payments can come periodically, or in a lump sum, for a specified amount of time or an indefinite amount of time. During a trial, the court will hear detailed evidence from both parties about their income and expenses to determine whether one spouse is dependent and whether the other has the ability to pay.

There is no formula for the judge to use when determining how much alimony should be paid, so it can be very difficult to predict how much spousal support you may be awarded.

How Long Does Alimony Last?

There is no set term for alimony, and it is left up entirely to the judge’s discretion. When coming to a settlement with the other side, however, you can usually expect alimony to last about half the length of the marriage.   

What is a Financial Affidavit?

In preparation for court and even settlement negotiations, you will have to fill out a financial affidavit. Yes, you will have homework to do. You will have to:

  • Determine your monthly income
  • Determine your monthly expenses 
  • Provide documentation to prove all of your contentions

Contact the spousal support attorneys at Robison Smith Law today for your consultation.


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