Going through a divorce raises many questions regarding assets, children, and splitting property. One topic many couples encounter during this process is spousal support or maintenance, commonly known as alimony. There are many circumstances in which this support may or may not be appropriate and disagreements about conditions may arise. The assistance of a lawyer for marital property can help couples understand guidelines and expectations for spousal support payments. Learn more about Divorce help and advice.

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When one spouse cannot meet their living expenses, either currently or in the future, maintenance may be awarded. In most cases, if one spouse can bridge the gap in another’s expenses, they are asked to make spousal support payments. These funds can be distributed in a number of ways, including lump sum payouts or monthly installments over a given period of time. Temporary alimony may only last as long as the recipient is not self-sufficient. If the recipient is unable to work due to disability or illness, payments may continue indefinitely.

Although spousal support is tax-deductible, this reimbursement may not be enough to make payment acceptable to the financier. The court has discretionary power over how much alimony a spouse will receive based on several aspects. If the payer believes the amount is unfair, a marital property attorney can assist in petitioning the court for a lower payment.

Without a legally binding prenuptial agreement, which would outline any pre-existing alimony arrangement, the court system will determine the amount based on several factors in accordance with state law. Time required becoming self-sufficient and standard of living during marriage influences this decision. If the receiving spouse makes outrageous claims regarding living conditions or time required to be financially stable, the payer may pay an amount they deem to be excessive.

If a spouse is required to pay alimony they see as unfair, an attorney can petition the court for further review in hopes of lowering the payment. A comprehensive court document explaining why the payment is excessive that includes evidence and supporting documentation must be presented to a judge for consideration. After reviewing the file, a judge may uphold the previous court order or issue an adjusted payment amount.

The topic of spousal support can make an otherwise good-natured divorce a painful situation. If spouses wish to contest alimony payments, a lawyer for marital property can help streamline the process. Retaining good counsel can help both parties be represented fairly, making sure payments are reasonable and increasing the chance of a happier outcome.

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