What You Should Know About Alimony

Child Support, Divorce, Family Law

Divorce and alimony are issues that can significantly impact your emotional and mental health if not carefully handled.

After all, divorce does entail the breakup of a relationship and bring to the fore the financial matters that need to be dealt with.

Therefore, before you go down this track, it is essential to know about alimony, so that the emotions don’t let you get carried away and/or make a wrong decision.

What Is Alimony?

First things first, what is alimony?

Alimony is a payment that is also called spousal support or maintenance. Most US states define “alimony” as a payment given by one ex-spouse to the other on a court’s instructions.

Some courts also award short term spousal support during the proceedings of a divorce.

Alimony is used as an equalizer between the financial capacities of a divorcing couple. When awarding alimony, a judge will evaluate if one spouse has a clear financial need, and the other spouse can pay.

In short, courts will decide favorably on alimony when spouses have different earning capacities, and the marriage has lasted a long time.

Determining (and Paying) Alimony

Judges have to follow state law in determining if alimony requests are applicable but can also exercise their discretion in fixing conditions of when and how the paying spouse should pay.

Alimonies can be awarded temporarily for spousal support during the divorce proceedings. They can also be a permanent part of the divorce decision.

Regular alimony payments can be stopped when:

  • The spouse receiving alimony remarries.
  • The supported spouse gets a better income stream.
  • Either of the spouses passes away
  • The spouse receiving alimony moves in with someone.
  • Both ex-spouses can sit down and agree about the alimony and how long they want to pay it.

Types of Alimony

Alimony can be paid in a lump sum, through a property transfer, and monthly or periodic payments. Periodic payments are the most used form of alimony.

One-off alimony payments like a lump-sum payment or a property transfer are called non-modifiable alimonies. Periodic payments are changeable as they can be altered according to the payer or recipient’s conditions.

How To File For Alimony Payment

If you opt to file for alimony without legal representation, you will need to spare a lot of time gathering financial documentation and preparing a case for hearing.

For this undertaking, a professional divorce lawyer from Hecht Schondorf can be a huge help.

Reach out for a consultation today and let us help you navigate the legal world easily.