If you are going through a divorce, chances are you may have heard the term alimony floating around. As a divorce lawyer from a firm like May Law, LLP can explain, Here is some more information on this family law topic to give you more information.
What exactly is alimony?
Alimony is the act of one spouse paying a lump monthly sum to another spouse as a way to provide reasonable and necessary financial support. Alimony is meant to provide one spouse with the same standard of living they were used to while being married, once the marriage has legally ended.
What factors affect alimony eligibility?
Alimony eligibility is typically decided at the state level, and goes off of guidelines put forth by the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. This law is meant to look at specific factors to see if you qualify for spousal support. Those factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial status during the marriage
- The circumstances leading to the dissolution of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The time required to get a job that will provide the same level of financial care that was provided during the marriage
- The ability of the spouse paying alimony to provide for the other spouse while still being able to provide for themselves in an adequate manner
- The standard of living provided by the marriage
Once all of these factors are put in place, the judge will be able to determine how much alimony is given to you, and when. There are two types of alimony; temporary alimony that is meant only for the duration of the divorce and permanent which gives payments for an extended period of time.
Can my spouse and I come to an alimony agreement by ourselves?
Yes, an out of court agreement to alimony will make the entire divorce proceeding go by much smoother. If you both come to an agreement, all you will need to do is provide this in writing and your judge will issue a special court order granting what you requested.
Can I apply for alimony after the divorce is done?
No, once you are divorced, you cannot file for alimony. If alimony was not given to you during the divorce, you are unable to request it once your divorce is completed.
Can my alimony payment amount change?
Yes, if you can prove that the other spouse has a higher paying job or there is a change in circumstances, you may be able to get your alimony payment changed. However, the only way alimony can be stopped is if the recipient remarries. If this happens, the spouse providing the payments can file to stop alimony under the belief that you will be financially taken care of when another spouse is involved.
Can any spouse ask for alimony?
Of course. There is a belief that men cannot file for alimony, but this is untrue. Any spouse who is put in a tough financial situation due to a divorce has the right to file for alimony benefits.
If you have any questions about how to file alimony and how it can help you during this transition in your life, contact our law office today.