When you and your spouse have discussed divorce in depth, you may feel as if it is time to make the giant leap into a new life. However, you may also be concerned about how you will support yourself. In the midst of divorce, finances will be a lot different. What happens if your spouse is the breadwinner in the family? Will you and your family go without? When you file for divorce, something known as “alimony” or spousal support will be determined. This works as a way to limit any unfair economic effects of divorce by allowing you to receive a continued income from the other spouse. If you make a lower wage than one spouse, alimony will work as a way to keep you on your feet until you can support yourself as necessary. However, you may wonder how alimony is determined and how it will play a role in your case. Now we can help you answer these important questions.
What Courts Consider
In front of the judge, alimony becomes a very important factor. The courts may consider many aspects, such as how much money each person could reasonably earn, what reasonable expenses will be, or whether or not alimony would make it possible for a spouse to return to the standard of living established during the marriage. If a spouse isn’t able to make it on his or her own, then alimony will be determined to help this spouse.
Consider this: Say that a husband files for divorce and makes a couple thousand a month, but his wife doesn’t make anything because she does not work. Under their state’s formula, she receives child support but still convinces the judge that there are other expenses. Let’s say that she needs to be able to make the house payments on the house that she shared with her husband. She may be awarded a bit more in spousal support, so she would be receiving a bit in alimony and a bit in child support to care for the children. This, of course, is dependent on how long it takes her to get on her feet or receive proper training for a job.
The Length of Alimony
One question that both spouses may ask is this: How long must alimony be paid? In many cases, it is seen as rehabilitative, which means that it will continue on as long as the spouse receives training or becomes self-supporting to some extent. In some cases, the divorce decree may state a spousal support termination date. If not, then the payments must continue until the court orders otherwise. There are some reasons why alimony may end, such as when the recipient remarries to somebody who can fully support them.
As you can see, alimony can be a bit complicated, which is why you should have an experienced attorney on your side to help you with your case. Call us today for more information on what steps you should take with your divorce.