Divorce involves dividing both property and assets and it may involve the determination of spousal support, also called alimony or maintenance. A divorce settlement agreement or a court order dictates whether one spouse must make a monthly payment to the other to address economic inequities resulting from a divorce. A lawyer for marital property helps a client determine whether alimony discussions should take place and fights for a favorable outcome. Alimony and maintenance are confusing, but getting a free consultation with an expert can help you understand your rights!
Should You Receive Alimony from Your Spouse?
Some households do not consist of dual wage earners and following a divorce, a stay-at-home spouse may be left with no means of financial support. Alimony provides financial assistance until this individual receives the training necessary to obtain a self-sustaining job. In most cases, alimony payments are temporary, designed to fill the gap until the individual begins receiving a steady wage.
Alimony determinations are largely subject to court discretion and state spousal support statutes vary. Some state regulations are based on the federal Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. If this is the case, they may consider the length and standard of living during the marriage, the financial status of the prospective payer, and the length of time the recipient needs to become self-sufficient.
In some states, an individual is permitted to pay the entire alimony award as a single payment. The recipient benefits by receiving a total amount that is valued higher than receiving monthly payments over a several-year period. In addition, the recipient will not need to worry about hiring a lawyer for marital property division in the future to enforce missed alimony payments. On the other hand, the full amount of a lump sum alimony payment may be taxed in the year it is received, depending on how it is classified.
Alimony decisions are typically made when division of property takes place. However, each should not affect the other because these are two separate issues. Legal guidance is recommended to navigate through the complexities of property and asset division. It can also come in handy if an individual believes that ongoing financial support is warranted.
To determine whether alimony is a possibility, ask yourself whether self-support would be possible following a divorce. Also, consider whether your spouse could afford to provide financial support while maintaining a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. If the respective answers to these questions are no and yes and divorce is on the horizon, contact an attorney who specializes in divorce and property division. Only an expert divorce attorney can let you know if you deserve an award of alimony or maintenance–find out now by speaking with one of our experts for free today!