The role of spousal support in a divorce is often misunderstood. Also known as alimony, spousal support is decided later in divorce proceedings, after division of the couple's assets are decided. Once this is done, the need for a spouse to receive or pay support can be determined and calculated. It is awarded to restrict any inequitable economic impact to the lower or non-wage-earning spouse by providing that spouse with ongoing income.
Louisiana law governs spousal support. It is generally based upon the need of the recipient spouse, the payer's ability to pay it, the marriage length, the couple's lifestyle when they were married and the spouses' age and health. Courts may consider non-martial assets and the involvement of minor children.