If you are getting a divorce, a divorce lawyer can represent you in court to ensure the payments you receive or are ordered to pay are fair. Alimony, also referred to as “spousal support,” is not limited to husbands paying wives. In some cases, a judge will order the wife pay alimony to the husband, or in same sex marriages, one spouse pay the other. Alimony is not guaranteed to either spouse, and very often, it is not included in the divorce or separation agreement. Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements may also play a part in determining who will be responsible for paying alimony and the terms. It’s important to understand that many factors can come into play in making the final determination, despite prior arrangements such as a prenuptial agreement. Talk to an attorney to learn more.
Determination of Alimony Payments
Alimony or spousal support payments are made by one spouse to the other spouse should they become legally separated or divorced. As mentioned, not every separation or divorce includes an alimony agreement. Your alimony lawyer can provide you with insight as to which of the following may apply in your case:
- The judge may determine that one spouse has the financial ability to provide the other spouse with alimony.
- The judge may order one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony in order that the latter spouse can enjoy the same lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage.
- The judge may determine that the lesser-earning spouse should receive alimony payments until such time as that spouse can undergo job training or schooling in order to support themselves.
- The judge may pre-determine a termination date for the alimony payments, or a milestone. For example, once the spouse receiving alimony has earned a degree or certification or a certain number of years has passed, the payments will terminate.
- The judge may order the alimony payments to be a permanent arrangement or a temporary one that will terminate upon the remarriage or death of the spouse who is receiving the alimony.
- The judge may order one spouse to pay alimony on a temporary basis during a legal separation until or unless they choose to divorce.
Alimony Determination Factors
After a review of your case, a good divorce lawyer can identify factors in your circumstances that may influence a judge to rule one way or another. Some of the factors that he or she may consider include:
- Whether or not the two individuals were legally married
- The length of time the two individuals were legally married
- The current earnings of the two individuals
- The potential future income of the two individuals
- The amount of money each individual contributed to the marriage
- Whether or not there are minor children and which parent will have primary custody
- The age and health consideration of each individual