Divorce is stressful. Sometimes when thinking about divorce, you forget to factor in what or how your ex-partner will survive. This is where alimony comes in. There are many reasons why a spouse may be required to pay alimony after a divorce. In some cases, it may be necessary to help the other spouse maintain their standard of living. In other cases, it may be ordered by the court as part of a property settlement.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from one ex-spouse to another following a divorce. In most cases, alimony is paid by the husband to the wife, although in some cases it may be paid by the wife to the husband. Alimony is usually paid monthly but can also be paid in a lump sum or as periodic payments. The duration of alimony payments varies depending on the marriage’s length and each spouse’s financial needs.
To determine whether alimony will be awarded and how much for how long, courts will consider several factors, including:
-The length of the marriage
-Each spouse’s age, health, and earning capacity
-The standard of living established during the marriage
-Each spouse’s financial needs and resources
-The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking and childrearing contributions
-The relative earnings and earning capacities of each spouse
-The relative education and training of each spouse
-The relative assets and liabilities of each spouse
-The property division ordered the divorce
-The relative parenting time and responsibilities for any minor children
-Tax consequences of alimony payments
Alimony may be awarded temporarily (known as “rehabilitative alimony”) to allow a spouse time to gain education or training to become self-sufficient, or it may be awarded permanently (known as “indefinite alimony”). The court will also consider the marriage’s length when deciding whether to award indefinite alimony. Generally, marriages of shorter duration will result in shorter alimony, while marriages of longer duration will result in longer alimony.
Suppose you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers. In that case, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of your rights and options concerning alimony. An attorney can also help you negotiate a fair and equitable settlement agreement with your spouse that considers all relevant factors, including those listed above.
What If Someone Refuses To Pay Spousal Support?
If you refuse to pay alimony, there can be serious consequences. The court can order you to pay a lump sum, known as retroactive alimony, or it can require you to make regular payments until the full amount is paid. Sometimes, the court may even garnish your wages or seize your assets. If you still fail to pay, you could be held in contempt of court and face fines or even jail time.
So, if you’re ordered to pay alimony and don’t think you can afford it, it’s important to talk to your attorney about your options. There may be alternatives that can help you avoid these serious penalties.
Another option is to negotiate a new payment plan with your ex-spouse. If you can agree, you can ask the court to approve it. This can be a good solution if you’re having financial difficulties, but it’s important to ensure that you can still meet your obligations under the new plan.
Do I Have To Pay Alimony Forever?
Alimony is often considered long-term payments from one ex-spouse to another following a divorce. While this is sometimes the case, alimony can also be short-term or lump sum payments. The duration and amount of alimony payments are determined by many factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and the needs of each spouse. Alimony can be modified or terminated if circumstances change, such as remarriage or cohabitation by the recipient’s spouse.
If you have any questions about alimony or divorce, please get in touch with us. We would be happy to discuss your case and help you understand your rights and options.