Alimony is another term for spousal support or maintenance during or after a couple divorces. The amount of money that a court orders one spouse to pay to another following a divorce, alimony is designed to continue the standard of living that existed during a marriage. There are several ways for divorcing spouses to determine whether they are entitled to alimony on a temporary or permanent basis. Because alimony and spousal maintenance deal with complex financial issues, it may even be necessary to have your attorney speak with an accountant to determine whether you shold receive alimony during divorce. Speaking an expert divorce lawyer is essential to learning your rights.
Are You Entitled to Alimony During Divorce?
It is usually less expensive for a divorcing couple to draft an alimony agreement without entering a court. A mediator or lawyer for marital property can assist with this process. However, if the parties cannot agree, the issue goes to court and a judge will review multiple factors to determine an alimony payment that is considered fair. Many people are entitled to alimony during divorce, but there is a lot of discretion that rests in the judges hands, which is why any individual facing the prospect of alimony should speak with a lawyer soon.
Categories of Alimony During Divorce
Alimony usually falls into one of four categories. When it is paid as a bulk payment, it is called lump sum alimony, or “maintenance in gross”. Temporary alimony, also called limited duration alimony, is awarded when the divorcing spouses earn a similar amount of money but one requires additional financial support following the divorce to establish him or herself. This may be awarded when one spouse must purchase a home or relocate to a new area following a divorce.
Permanent alimony is typically reserved for marriages that lasted a long time. Payments continue until the receiving spouse remarries or dies. Rehabilitative alimony is the final and most common type of alimony. It is awarded with the assumption that the individual receiving it will become self-supporting after a period of training or education. Payments are used to cover living expenses and costs for improving knowledge and skills through vocational or academic programs regarding a desired career.
A divorce lawyer that frequently deals with marital property can help a divorcing spouse discover whether alimony is a possibility. A complex formula is used to determine the payment and this specialized attorney can help a client calculate the amount of alimony that could be expected. Calculations vary by state but usually include consideration of the marital standard of living, length of the marriage, age of the spouses, and financial, emotional, and physical conditions of the individuals. These are just a few of the considerations a court uses when determining whether a party may receive alimony during their divorce.
It can be difficult to estimate how much alimony a court will award and how long the payments will continue. Changing trends have resulted in significant changes to awards for spousal support. More ex-wives are being ordered to make alimony payments to their ex-husbands and future cultural changes will continue to affect the outcome of negotiations regarding spousal support. Alimony rules are changing drastically in some states, such as Florida, where the fight over permanent alimony will probably continue. Only a trained divorce lawyer can let you know if your case is one where you may be entitled to alimony during the divorce process. speak with a professional who is courteous and respectful today for a free consultation!