Spousal Support Lawyers

If a married couple chooses to get a divorce, one of the spouses may receive spousal support or “alimony”, which is different from division of property. Which way the funds sway is usually based either on a prior agreement between the couple or the court makes an ultimate decision. Alimony is an attempt to offset any financial hardships one spouse may face due to the divorce. It is best to speak to a law professional, regarding alimony, because each case is unique to the individuals present.

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What is alimony and how is the amount of alimony determined?

The alimony definition describes a process that is separate from dividing marital property. The main purpose of alimony is to help with the economic effects that could result from a divorce, providing funds to a spouse that may have a lower income. One reason for this is that a spouse may have left a higher paying job to raise a family or to help an ailing loved one. These funds help the other spouse maintain their same lifestyle they had during the marriage.

When deciding how much alimony to award, the court system does not necessarily have specific guidelines regarding the amount to follow. Courts consider many factors when deciding on an amount and they also make a decision on how long this amount will be rewarded to the spouse. Some of the factors the court will take into consideration when making a decision are listed below.

  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • How long it would take for the benefiting spouse to become financially independent.
  • The age of both former spouses.
  • The financial condition of both former spouses.
  • The prior standard of living.

As mentioned prior, alimony does not have a set of monetary guidelines that courts need to follow. However, the same cannot be said of child support. When deciding child support, court systems have specific guidelines in place to determine the amount of child support awarded. The amount of alimony is decided on more of an individual case by case basis. You may be wondering, “is spousal support taxable?”. If your judgement was entered into the system before the New Year of 2019, the receiving spouse had to claim their alimony as taxable income. However, as of January 1st 2019, alimony does not have to be claimed by the recipient.

How Long Should Spousal Support be Paid?

Alimony is usually regarded by the court system as being temporary and is used to get one spouse back on their feet, financially, after a divorce. It will be determined by the court how long the receiving spouse needs to become financially independent and able to support oneself. A divorce decree will usually specify when the spousal support will terminate, or the court will order it.

Divorces cases are unique to the individuals involved, but issues surrounding alimony will come up in many of them. An experienced law attorney can help walk you through the process and answer any other questions you might have. Divorce cases can leave a spouse economically challenged, especially if they had left a job to raise a family or are a lower-wage earner. Alimony helps to offset this financial difficulty and is important to adjusting to life after being married to their spouse. Talk to a professional law attorney today to understand your options.