A spouse can ask for alimony after the dissolution of the marriage. Most times a spouse will ask for alimony if the other spouse was the primary provider in the marriage. In most cases, alimony will be awarded if the spouse can’t support themselves because of a lack of property or they can’t gain appropriate employment.
Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Paying Alimony
- Reduce the current household expenses
- If separated, show that your spouse can support themselves without your help
- Reduce your debt
- Get your spouse a job or more education to be able to get job
- Spend time with your children
- Investigate marital misconduct of your spouse and don’t engage in marital misconduct yourself
- Allow a temporary disability of your spouse to improve before divorcing
- If your income will be reduced in the future, wait until then to divorce
Determining If Alimony Will Be Given
Alimony can be ordered as a substitute for a division of property. It can be ordered to help the ex-spouse to become self-sufficient. It some cases, alimony can be ordered because the spouse has very limited earning ability or is basically unemployable. The initial order will continue to be the framework for the alimony situation ongoing, so you want to make sure that everything is weighed before getting this initial order of alimony. There are certain factors that the court will weigh when deciding to give alimony to a spouse and they can vary state to state but the following are the most common…
- Length of the marriage
- Age and health of both spouses
- How the property is to be divided
- The education levels of both spouses at the time of the marriage and the time of the divorce proceedings
- The earning capacity of both spouses
- The ability of one of the spouses to become self-supporting at the standard of living they had during the marriage and how long it will take them to achieve that standard of living
- Tax consequences will be weighed
- Any pre-marital and post-marital agreements
- One spouses contribution to another spouse to increase their level of education, training, or earning power
- Any thing else that may be relevant.
How Much Alimony Will Be If Given?
The court will decide if one spouse should get alimony or not and it will determine how much they should receive per month and how long they should receive it. Spousal support amounts varies from state to state. In many states there aren’t clear guidelines set which results in inconsistent spousal support awards.
When Will the Alimony Payments Stop?
There are many, many reasons that could terminate or reduce a spouses alimony payment. If a spouse no longer needs the support than the other spouse can try to get the payment terminated or lessened. Reasons for terminating the payments could be that the receiving spouse has been remarried or is cohabitating with another individual in a marriage-like relationship. Payments also stop when the receiving spouse dies.
Helping the court to decide on a proper alimony order can be a very complicated and delicate situation, so it’s important that you consult with an experienced local divorce lawyer!
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About Helmer Somers Law
We are committed to helping families resolve their differences and get back to their lives. We help individuals and families fight for custody of children. We protect your rights as you go through divorce proceedings. We offer the guidance and support that you will need when you are involved with the legal system. We help clients with cases involving…
- Divorce and legal separation
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support and spousal support (alimony)
- Property division
- Domestic violence
- Grandparent rights
- And other related issues
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