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Alimony, also known as spousal support, has become increasingly controversial over the last few years. Many people view alimony as a relic from the past -- when women were expected to stay home for the benefit of the family and not have careers.

If you're a dependent spouse, this trend makes it more important than ever to understand what could negatively affect your case for alimony. Here are some of the things that your spouse may bring up to try to reduce what they owe:

  • The short duration of your marriage -- If you haven't been married long enough to settle into a dependent lifestyle, your spouse may argue that you can easily become self-supporting again.
  • Your education or training -- The more highly educated you are, the more likely your spouse is to argue that you're capable of supporting yourself through your own labor.
  • Your youth and good health -- If you're relatively young and able-bodied, your spouse is likely to fight any kind of lengthy alimony payments on the basis that, even if you haven't got any training, that you should be able to find a career within a reasonable period of time.
  • Your good standard of living without your spouse -- If you could have a reasonably comfortable standard of living even without your spouse's support, your spouse will likely argue that you don't really need alimony. This can particularly apply in situations where there are a lot of marital assets to divide.

It's always possible that your spouse will find other arguments to present against paying support. Talk your alimony situation over carefully with an attorney to start anticipating your spouse's challenges.

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