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Understanding spousal support in a divorce

Celebrities can sometimes have a lot in common with the average everyday American citizen of Kent County, Rhode Island. One of these commonalities is the issue of divorce. Divorce affects every one of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Two of Hollywood's most recognizable faces and names are in the spotlight once again. Although they have been separated since November of 2011, Demi Moore has just responded to Ashton Kutcher's original petition for divorce. The 50 year-old actress is requesting spousal support and attorney's fees from her soon to be ex-husband. The actress is worth approximately $150 million, while 35 year-old Kutcher is worth approximately $140 million.

Finances play a major role in divorce. Spousal support or alimony is something that a couple can agree on in a mediation or financial settlement or can be something the court mandates. The theory behind alimony is to prevent an economic disadvantage to the spouse earning a lower wage. Spousal support is not designed to last indefinitely. It typically ends when the spouse receiving support gets re-married or at a time the court feels gives the spouse adequate time to rebuild their life.

If spousal support cannot be agreed upon as between the two spouses, a court may step in, and determine if spousal support is warranted. The court will take into consideration such factors as the length of the marriage and the quality of life the couple had while married. Courts will also consider the age and education of the spouse seeking support.

Divorce can be a challenging process. Finances are a stressful subject whether you have millions in the bank or $100. It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities to ensure that you receive a fair settlement from the divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Demi Moore Wants Spousal Support From Ashton Kutcher: Divorce Papers Show Actress Wants Alimony," March 7, 2013.

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