Spousal support, or alimony, is a payment made to one former spouse to another as ordered by a judge. There are many cases where a couple might have significantly different levels of income. When that couple divorces, there may be a case for the lower-earning party to petition the court to require their former spouse to pay alimony. The purpose of alimony is to allow someone who relied on their spouse’s financial support to continue to live their normal life after divorce No matter what side of an alimony case you’re on, you need the help of a spousal support attorney to ensure the best possible results from your divorce alimony proceedings.
In some cases, couples are able to agree on a fair alimony arrangement through mediation. However, many times this is not the case. If necessary, your alimony case may need to be escalated and brought before a judge. In these cases, the judge will consider any evidence you bring forth to them and weigh various factors to determine what, if any, alimony will need to be paid out. Some details that your judge will take into account while making their decision include the length of time you were married to your spouse, each person’s income, and what they came to expect as their standard of living while they were married.
If there are children in the picture and one of the parents stayed at home with them full-time, a judge may also consider how your children might be impacted if that parent suddenly had to start working. In addition, a judge may be interested in delving deep into past years of your marriage. For example, did one party put their own professional ambitions on hold in order to support their spouse in theirs? Is there a documented history of abuse in the relationship? As you can see, there are many different factors that can affect the outcome of your alimony case. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what type of information is important for the judge to know. That’s where our team of highly-experienced divorce alimony attorneys come in.
Not necessarily. In fact, alimony cases can sometimes be settled with a single lump-sum payment, as appose to monthly payments. Either a judge, or the separating couple through mediation can decide on what amount would be fair for the financially-dependent spouse to live comfortably while they work on becoming self-reliant. In the case of monthly payments, there may also be a cutoff date when alimony payments will no longer be made. Sometimes, it may be possible to put a stop to alimony payments before this set date. For example, if the person receiving alimony suddenly starts earning a much higher income, that could be reason for the court to dismiss any future alimony payments. In addition, if the person receiving payments decides to re-marry, the alimony payments will stop as its assumed that their new spouse will not be responsible for supporting them financially.
In many ways, alimony has an unfair reputation. In the media, alimony payments are often portrayed as a way for a scornful ex to “get back” at their former spouse. However, the truth of the matter is that, for most people, alimony is simply a means of survival. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to heavily rely on another financially. That’s not to say that they played a lesser part in their household. On the contrary, many couples decide that it is in the best interest of their household if one spouse works less or not at all. This is especially true when there are children involved. When couples living under these types of arrangements divorce, alimony ensures that the dependent spouse doesn’t find themselves in a dire financial situation.
However, even though alimony is often necessary, there are always going to be those that want to try to obtain more than their “fair share” after a divorce. If you find yourself in such a situation, make sure that you have an experienced alimony attorney by your side to help you through your case. We can compile all the evidence necessary to make sure that your judge has everything they need to make a fair decision in your alimony proceedings. We always look out for the best interests of our clients and will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. Divorce may be stressful, but the good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.