Fight AlimonyWhen going through a divorce, many couples encounter the topic of alimony, also called spousal support or maintenance. Many people believe it is not possible to fight alimony awards – this is untrue. Alimony is a payment from one spouse to the other, negotiated or imposed by a court, when one spouse is unfairly financially affected by the divorce. Alimony may be paid in a lump sum or via monthly installments for a temporary or open-ended period. Spouses who do not agree to the decision often seek assistance from a lawyer for marital property. Alimony is a contentious issue and one that should be discussed with an expert who is willing to provide you with a free consultation!

Can I Fight Alimony in a Divorce?

Not every divorce needs to involve alimony. Alimony is usually awarded only when one spouse cannot meet his or her living expenses currently or in the future. If the other spouse can afford to make up for the shortfall, alimony may be granted. This spousal support could be temporary, lasting only until the other spouse raises children or gets back into the job market. If disability or age prevents a spouse from ever becoming self-supporting, alimony may be permanent. It is possible to fight alimony in court but it takes a substantial effort.

How Does Alimony Affect Taxes?

Payments may be tax-deductible for payers. However, a tax deduction may not be enough to make this payment acceptable to a paying spouse. Several factors are considered when determining the amount of alimony and courts have discretionary power when making this decision. If an alimony award seems unfair to the spouse who must pay it, its advisable to make an appointment with an expert divorce attorney to go over the justifications for the seemingly unfair alimony award. You can fight alimony and you can win!

Absent a legally enforceable prenuptial or post-marital agreement that specifies an amount of spousal support, courts make alimony decisions according to state law. The standard of living during the marriage and the time the prospective alimony recipient requires to become self-sufficient are two factors considered. If the receiving spouse claims a higher standard of living than actually existed or says it will take longer to become self-sufficient than it really will, the court may award alimony that the paying spouse deems excessive. This is the most common way that a spouse can fight alimony – when another spouse lies about their married standard of living.

When a spouse is required to pay alimony that he or she believes is unfair, an attorney can request reconsideration by the court. This will most likely result in not only an individual deciding to fight alimony, but fighting many other financial decisions as well. Many states are beginning to end awards of permanent alimony for long marriages. A comprehensive case that explains why the payment is excessive, supported by documentation, must be prepared and presented to the judge. After a thorough review of the facts, the judge will either reinforce the original decision or issue a new order adjusting the alimony payment.

Finances can make an otherwise amicable divorce a contentious situation. A lawyer skilled in dealing with marital property can help a client fight alimony that may appear to be an unfair award to the receiving spouse. The final decision should consider the rights of both parties and represent a fair and affordable payment and retaining a good lawyer increases the chance of this outcome. Only an expert divorce attorney can let you know if your divorce case should even deal with alimony to begin with. Speaking with an expert is easy – and you should get started right away!

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18 thoughts on “How Can I Fight Alimony or Maintenance?”

  1. I have been going through a divorce for 3 years. I left him because he was abusive during our 15 year marriage and I am still see a therapist from the memories of this abuse, We have 2 kids and he has not paid a penny of child support yet. He makes 3 times what I do, but my lawyer tells me there is no chance for maintenance, so they will not even ask for it in court. I just bought a house of my own (half the value of the marital home) and I am struggling month to month just to pay the bills. I am afraid if it is not addressed in court before the case is finished, that I will never get it. Do I have a fighting chance to even ask for it and if so, how do I make my lawyer fight for it?

  2. I was married 30 years. Just got divorced over a year ago. Our son is in his 30’s with a family of his own. I was ordered to pay my ex-wife spousal support. She has a job and has been able to make it on her own.
    Recently I found out she got married, but was a Muslim ceremony so it is not recorded legally. I pay over $1500 a month and can barley make my bills.
    Is there any way to get justice here?
    She is now living and married to another man and I have to support both of them now.

    Thank you!

  3. I was married 28 years and had 3 children. I got divorced in 2017. My ex wife was the nicest and sweetest person you could ever meet. But that’s all she was on the surface. She had me and my family fooled for several years until reality hit. I struggled to make a living during those early years with little support from her. I had to cook for my kids and her after I got off work otherwise my kids got fed junk because she didn’t want to cook. Little did I know that my life for the next 25 years would never be the same. I marred a borderline narcissist and no matter what, she could do no wrong and I could do no right. It was the loneliest and most painful 28 years I ever lived. In my darkest hours she was not there. Bankruptcy, loss of job and even a near loss of our house, no contributions ever came from her. Yet, I built her beauty shops in 3 of our houses that we lived in and she was capable of making money to help. I stood alone as I always did my entire marriage. I felt I was a good person but now I’m bitter and broke from a divorce law that requires I pay lifetime maintenance to a woman that was not a good mother or wife and the courts don’t care and so justice has been served. In my situation this law is so arbitrarily unfair it might as well been a jail sentence.

  4. Is there a limitation on when a spouse can ask for alimony? My brother and his wife are in the process of divorcing now. They have been separated for at least 4 years. Seeing each other off and on… In between while she was dating another man. He has been giving her child support without a court order and paying for the house they lived in while also paying another property they owned while trying to sell it. No help from her was given during the time he was struggling to make both house payments and give her support. And now she is claiming she is disabled, but doesn’t receive ssi. She was working while they were together. And at some point started living with the other man she’s been seeing for the past 4 yrs. And is now asking for alimony and child support.

  5. Hello,my name is Steven.I have been paying spousal maintenance for 2 and 1/2 years.My ex wife hired a lawyer and claimed she was disabled but yet she does not receive any income from the SSI or has she been declared medically disabled.

    I did sign something agreeing she has medical issues but the way the decree is setup I am paying her for life and find this not fair.I want to know how I can open a case to challenge the ruling based on the fact she is not officially disabled.

  6. Might it be possible or even advisable to keep the family business going after we divorce? How should we proceed? Businesses run by divorcees don’t necessarily work out.

    1. Nicholas Baker

      A questions that very often requires significant details and significant financial records to determine how best to proceed.

      For the most part, when a couple divorces, attorneys will advise their clients to do one of the following:
      1. One party buys out the other party’s share of the business (either in lump sum or over time); or
      2. The business gets sold to a competitor, etc., and the process get divided between the party’s.

      Rarely does an attorney advise the divorced couple to continue working together as this can lead to even bigger issues, namely, civil lawsuits regarding profits, losses, and even coerced sale of the business.

  7. I married to american, for couple years and he left me with two kids not giving me any money for couple years and …till when my kids 13 years old he start giving us money only for monthly 1000$ for two kids thats including hospital ,food etc for 3 of us .. i never sue him for anything .. i only asking him my rights he never give me allemony and child support

    1. If I understand, you are still married to this man, have 2-kids with him, and there is no open divorce case and no open child support case, is that correct?
      You should file for a divorce to begin the process of securing your rights to support and custody in the proper manner.
      If he is paying you $1,000/month, that might be a reasonable child support amount, but it very likely could be low as well.
      You should contact an attorney (Click Here to connect to our Team), and find out what rights you have because many more details are needed.

  8. I was with my soon to be ex for 10 years. Over five years of that married. I worked a lot and she felt left alone and struggled with our new born. She took to cheating and bringing our daughter to stay the night with random guys. She filed for divorce and took our daughter to live with her own mother rent and bills free. I had to sell my house that I solely was buying and paying for, giving her half of equity. I currently pay her $944 a month as I struggle to maintain a crappy one bedroom apartment. She can work, but conveniently is layed off before insurance would start and our next court date. I have my daughter with me half the time. Why child support? Why alimony when she cheated and filed for divorce? She continues to go out and party affecting me dropping off our daughter to her so I can go to work? The animosity she displays to me in front of my daughter is outrageous! She got a fourth dui and my lawyer didn’t even bring it up in court. Am I getting screwed over? Because I know my daughter is

    1. In most states, infidelity does not matter when it comes to division of assets. Alimony (maintenance) is normally based on need and lifestyle. So even if she is working, if you are earning substantially more than her (double, triple, etc.) alimony might need to be paid, same for child support.
      If she is underemployed though, that should be factored in for her income level on those calculations. And if she was fired “for cause” (ie. write-ups, not just a layoff), then her income should be factored at what it was when she was working.
      Your best bet is to have a child representative appointed to represent your child and investigate and present to the court which parent is best for your child. If all you allege can be proven, the child representative would likely tell the judge that you should be the primary parent, and that would most likely eliminate child support and possibly even alimony.
      This, of course, depends on if the divorce is finalized (for alimony) and for custody issues, if finalized divorce, a modification needs to be filed.
      In either situation, you need an experienced lawyer, this cannot be done on your own in most instances.

  9. Angelo M Fanzo Jr

    My wife and I have been married 12 years. During that time we have had two boys and decided she could quit her full time job when the boys were little but would go back to work full time when they were both in school. Over the 12 years we have been back and forth to marriage counseling because while she didnt work she didn’t want to do anything around the home which caused tension. I felt like I was a paycheck and she wanted to live this care free life. She has had a part time job now for 4 years which pays her well but she has lately been skipping work to do other activities that she would like to do. I have asked her repeatedly to work more that I need help with the bills but she told me flat out she is not working any more that her kids come first. Well recently she has told me she wants a divorce and has taken the kids to go look at apartments and has even put a deposit on one of them. She told me she wants $1700 a month is Child Support and $3300 in alimony for 6 years. She told me she will not work full time and I need to provide her the same standard of living. I have completed the worksheet B for NC and it came to $1341 a month for child support, I told her I would give her $500 for alimony for 4 years because she is more than capable of working. I don’t want to go to court but fear we may have to. As a husband, what do you do when you beg and plead with your wife to work more to help with the bills and she doesn’t and now ask for a divorce and all this money? Oh and we agreed on split custody because we live in the same town. The kids will stay with me from Sunday to Sunday and then go to their Mothers house for a week.

  10. My wife and I both work (a $15K disparity in income) (I have been a govmt civilian [GG10] for 7 years and she has worked for the county for 15 years), we have no children, and our debt, which I agreed to take $5K additional has been due to her shopping addiction. I want to give her our house, since it has ALOT of equity in it that she can have after the sale to help her out. I will live in the townhouse we were renting out that doesn’t have much equity. She still wants alimony to help pay to keep her in the house, that she can’t afford to live in. She doesn’t understand that I expect her to sell the house, use the almost $18K profit and buy a place she can afford. She is still fighting for alimony…
    Our retirement accounts have almost the same amount in them.

  11. I have physical custody of our 3 children. He pays no child support and is now seeking spousal support because he feels he is unable to work and unemployment ran out.

  12. I have been paying for alimony for over five years. The marriage lasted five years and I have been ordered to pay for ten years. I find this to be excessive and she is able to work and is educated. Am I right to think this seems out of the norm as far as duration of payments ordered?

  13. Husband is seeking a large maintenance pmt. in wisconsin. Husband has not worked last 12 years of 18 year marriage, he has chosen not to look for work and is fully capable. Wife has been fully employed and asked him to get a job or at least look, he hasn’t and wife has had enough and is ending the marriage,is he entitled?

    1. It is possible that he may be entitled to some type of temporary or rehabilitative maintenance, depending on his earning capacity, her salary, and both of their ages. In most instances, this type of situation calls for a modest maintenance payment over a short amount of time, like a year, depending on the age of the husband. Contact our team of experienced family law attorneys for a free divorce consultation right away.

      1. Hello my name is Bobby Sykes sr I lost in court two or 3 times I did not have a good lawyer and my lawyer failed me I been paying this spousal support since 2006 and feel that I was not treated right from law enforcement in Portland Oregon and also been disabled since 2014 due to arthritis and I’m on SSDI and retired I really need help or advice my number

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