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If you will pay spousal support or receive it, it is important to understand how the process works. There are many factors that will affect how much the support is for, how long it lasts and whether the court will award it in your case. 

There are two types of spousal support a court may issue, according to the Louisiana State Legislature. The first type is interim support, which is temporary. The other is final periodic support. 

Length of support 

The length of interim support is typically 180 days. The court may extend this if it feels there is good cause to do so. Final periodic support will last however long the court sees fit. Both types of support may end before the date given by the court if the person receiving financial support remarries or the court rules that he or she is cohabitating in a relationship that resembles a marriage. In addition, the death of either party ends support obligations. 

The length of support often depends on the same factors the court uses when determining whether to award support. These include the length of the marriage, earning capabilities of both spouses, the ability to increase earnings, child custody arrangements and other financial obligations. 

Special rules 

The court will always award final periodic support in certain cases as ordered by law. These include situations where the child or spouse is a victim of domestic violence, if the spouse has a felony conviction that carries a hard labor or death sentence or in the case of adultery. 

Amount 

The amount of spousal support will vary from case to case, but in most instances, the overall amount can be up to 1/3 of the payee’s net income. If an award is due to the special rules set by law, then the amount can exceed 1/3 of the net income of the payee.