Questions Regarding Alimony

When you are going through a divorce, one of the many questions you have lingering may be regarding alimony. Even if your divorce is relatively amicable, you should get the help of a family law attorney to help ensure that you are getting your fair share of assets and to help you in determining alimony. Divorces can be incredibly stressful, so you should not have to deal with these legal proceedings on your own. For more information on alimony, please read the article below.

What is alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is the payment that one spouse gives the other during and after they are legally divorced. This type of financial support can either come in the form of payments on a recurring basis or as a lump sum. When one spouse makes less money than the other spouse, a court may find that the “supporting” spouse should help out the “dependent” spouse financially. There is no specific amount of alimony set by a court as it will depend entirely on the couple who is getting divorced.

Do I need to go to court to receive alimony?

No. It is possible, especially if you and your spouse are divorcing amicably, to resolve alimony outside of court. However, if you are unable to agree on a payment or if you would like to ensure that your alimony amount is set in writing legally, you can work with a court to have this written into your divorce agreement.

Do we have to be legally divorced for me to start receiving alimony payments?

No, you do not have to be divorced to start receiving alimony payments. This is called “pendente lite,” and a court may look at your situation and deem it most appropriate to start some amount of support before the divorce is finalized. To do this, the dependent spouse will need to demonstrate a need.

What kinds of things does a court consider when granting alimony?

The court considers many things when they are determining whether a spouse should receive alimony and how much they should receive. Below are some factors that a court may look at:

  • What the dependent spouse’s earning capacity is.
  • How long the spouses were married.
  • What the dependent spouse’s education and training are and what their ability is to provide for themselves.
  • The physical condition and the age of the parties involved.
  • The monetary and non-monetary contributions of each party regarding their family situation.

Is it possible to change the amount of spousal support in the future?

Yes. It is possible in the future for either side to petition the court for a change (an increase or a decrease) in the amount of spousal support. One scenario is if the dependent ex-spouse later remarries, the supporting ex-spouse can petition to have alimony terminated.

If you have any more questions regarding alimony or if you would like to set up a consultation with a family law attorney, please call a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, today.