Alimony, or spousal support, is a very complicated situation because there are no universal rules regarding this topic. Whether spouses agree upon it themselves, rely upon the expertise of family lawyers, or look to courts for a decision, there are few regulations to follow. However, there are several general principles that divorcing couples should know.
In addition to helping spouses determine whether they are prospective recipients, these principles help their exes learn how to fight the requirement to pay alimony. If the marriage did not last very long, alimony may not be required. It is typically awarded after a long-term marriage or when one spouse earns substantially more income than the other spouse does.
A divorcing spouse does not usually relish the thought of making monthly payments to an ex for a temporary or permanent period. However, the divorce settlement agreement or decision made by a family court may include this requirement. Alimony addresses the unfair economic impact of the divorce on one spouse. On the other hand, it should not put the other spouse into a bad financial situation so the amount should be carefully considered.
How Attorneys Assist in Fighting Alimony
If a spouse wishes to fight alimony in divorce, getting professional assistance is the recommended first step. An attorney will review the situation and determine what a fair payment would be. This professional will also explain alternatives to ongoing alimony payments. Some prospective payers prefer a lump sum payment because it allows them to quickly cut ties from their exes and move on with their lives. Recipients may also prefer this because it avoids potential collection issues and may entitle them to higher-value payment.
Fighting alimony altogether can be difficult without legal guidance. A spouse must dispute the calculations used to determine the payments. This may require the submission of documents that prove the standard of living during the marriage, the financial statuses of the prospective payer and receiver, and the ability of the prospective payer to make alimony payments while continuing to support him or herself.
Alimony usually lasts only until the recipient becomes self-supporting. Therefore, the divorce decree should include a termination date for this spousal support. In most cases, alimony will end when the recipient remarries, so the paying individual should bring this situation to the attention of the court. If a spouse wants to fight alimony in divorce or after a divorce decree is issued, assistance from an attorney can increase the chance of a positive outcome.