In any divorce proceedings that encompass minors, spousal support or alimony emerges as problematic issues. Admittedly, in complicated or challenging divorce cases, couples can hotly contest alimony. Unlike child support, family laws of most countries do not offer a specific formula to determine the amount or duration of alimony. Further, the spouse who seeks alimony is expected to prove that they are dependent on the spouse to obtain alimony successfully. You can continue reading this guide if you wish to know about the critical factors considered when filling in for alimony.
What is alimony?
Normally, after undergoing a divorce process, judges might order one spouse to pay spousal support or alimony to the other spouse. In particular, the judges need one spouse to pay a certain amount of ongoing monthly or lump sum alimony payments. Here are the factors that will determine who will be the recipient of alimony payments.
Factors considered when determining alimony.
In most cases, when both spouses have a full-time job, the judges might not award alimony, but they might consider it when one of them is a dependent spouse. In other words, the spouse with limited or no income will receive income from the other partner with substantial income. Apart from that, there are several factors that the judges consider when determining whether they can award alimony to one spouse, and they include:
- The age of the spouses
- Earning capacity of the individual spouses
- The marital misconduct of either spouse
- Mental state and emotional condition of the spouses
- Tax impacts of an alimony award
- Separate property that every partner brought to their marriage
- Needs of every spouse
- Contributions of either spouse in making their home
- The assets, liabilities, and relative debt of every spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Every spouse’s earned and earned income, including their dividends, wages, medical benefits, social security eligibility, and insurance benefits.
- The level of education of every spouse during the divorce period
- Contributions that one spouse made to enhance the job skills, education, and earning capacity of the other spouse
- The potential of one or both partners to access more education or training to get lucrative employment and attain their reasonable financial requirements.
Who receives alimony in a divorce?
Alimony is to maintain a similar standard of living that the associated spouses enjoyed while they were married. Admittedly, if you played a primary breadwinner in your marriage, your spouse would be entitled to receive alimony. Fortunately, courts are gender-neutral when it comes to alimony awards, implying that both women and men can qualify for alimony. The next step involves determining the amount awarded and the duration. However, alimony might stop, or the court might modify it permanently or temporarily, depending on the following circumstances:
- The payor undergoes reasonable financial emergencies
- The payor becomes critically ill.
- The payor faces a significant drop in income or loses their jobs
- The children attain a maturity age (normally 18 years and above, depending on your country)
- The recipient cohabits with another person or gets remarried
- One of the spouses dies
- The payor retires, meaning the judge can accurately modify the alimony amount to align with their current financial status.
Types of cases that benefit most from the help of an alimony attorney
Spousal cases that can benefit from the help of an alimony attorney include:
- Parties that want to terminate, modify or amend their spousal support order
- Parties that face serious disagreements in their marriage
- Where one or both spouses have several past or current divorce-related court orders, including prior spousal support orders, previous divorce decrees, child custody orders, or visitation and child support orders
- Where parties own a substantial amount of assets
- Where the spouses do not understand what is required in an alimony case
If the factors above apply to your situation, you might consider hiring a divorce lawyer to help in handling your alimony case. It is also advisable to hire an alimony attorney if you do not understand the laws of your state. The lawyer can explain the relevant alimony laws of your country and the required legal procedures for obtaining a spousal support order. Further, the lawyer can assist in establishing a strong and persuasive case.