In many households across America, one spouse will assume the role of breadwinner for the family while the other stays home caring for the kids. That can create financial concerns for the homemaker spouse if there’s a divorce. If you’re in this situation, you may realize that you can request alimony — but you may not be certain about what figures into a judge’s decision about whether or not you’ll receive it.

Essentially, you need to show the judge that it would be unfair not to provide you with some spousal support — whether for a limited period or an extended one. You want to gather documents that will help you prove that your spouse has the ability to provide you with support. You also want to show that you deserve it — because you stayed home with the kids for your spouse’s benefit (so he or she could pursue a career). It would be unfair to punish you financially now for a choice you made that benefited the marriage.

Your attorney will likely provide you with a list of documents for you to gather together in order to prove your case. Some of the documents that will figure heavily into your divorce include checking account and credit card statements, tax returns and your health insurance explanation of benefits. These will help paint a clearer picture of the monthly expenditures, annual income and health expenses that your household has.

If you’re part of a family that travels, then your attorney may want to see your passport or a frequent flyer account statement to document what type of lifestyle that you’ve grown accustomed to keeping.

You should also gather gift tax receipts, retirement or investment account statements and copies of your credit reports. These can all be used document marital assets and to uncover potentially hidden ones that your spouse doesn’t want you to know about.

Alimony is awarded largely at the discretion of the judge presiding over your divorce. An experienced attorney can help you present a solid case for why you deserve spousal support following your divorce.