A Guide to Seeking Alimony
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered lump sum or ongoing payment designed to support a lower-earning ex-spouse who may have sacrificed their earning potential to take care of your family.
It can become essential to learn more about when you or your ex-spouse have been financially reliant on the other party and could be significantly disadvantaged during a separation. If divorce proceedings are about to get underway and you need a helping hand to understand your rights and obligations, take note of the following information.
Learn the Alimony Types
During the early days of divorce proceedings, an experienced alimony lawyer like Betsy A Fischer can help you understand the different alimony types, such as temporary support, transitional alimony, compensatory alimony, and long-term maintenance. Your eligibility for each may depend on your state and the makeup of your relationship.
Temporary support is a form of impermanent support during divorce, separation, or annulment. Transitional alimony is similar but is short-term support to help an ex-spouse adjust to their financial obligations outside of marriage.
Compensatory alimony, or reimbursement alimony, is less common but describes one ex-spouse receiving significant financial assistance, mainly if one party receives much more value from a divorce.
Long-term maintenance might also be relevant to your situation. This alimony type describes long-term financial help for an ex-spouse who can’t maintain a long-term living standard independently.
Understand Factors Influencing Alimony
As every couple’s marriage is different, every alimony arrangement in family law also can be. Many factors can determine fair alimony calculations, which differ in each state. Some of the most crucial factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Income and future earning potential
- Age and health
- Balance of contributions
- Standard of living
- Career impact of children
- Debts and assets
- Tax implications
- Domestic violence
Choose a Competent Family Law Attorney
Choosing a competent family law attorney to guide you through the divorce and alimony process can be crucial. They understand the laws in your area, can predict how factors might impact your alimony arrangement, and fight for fairness. If you’re unable to seek recommendations from family and friends, consider searching your state bar association to find reputable family law attorneys.
Seek a Court Order
If your lawyer has fought for your right to receive alimony payments based on your marriage length, children, standard of living, and other factors, it might be in your best interest to look at court orders.
While you might have been awarded alimony payments, there may be no legal recourse if your ex-spouse stops making their payments. A court order makes it a requirement, and your chosen attorney can file a spousal support agreement and receive the order on your behalf.
Learn When Alimony Payments Are No Longer Valid
Alimony payments aren’t always a temporary form of support, but there are situations where they may no longer be required, such as these below:
- You’ve reached the end of the judge-ordered alimony payment period
- Your children no longer need you at home full time
- You enter a domestic partnership or marriage
- The judge deems that you haven’t made an effort to support yourself
- The judge considers it necessary to modify the arrangement
- The ex-spouse dies, state-dependent
Receiving alimony payments can be crucial for maintaining an acceptable standard of living when a couple parts ways, but it’s not always a straightforward process. By aligning yourself with a reputable family law attorney, you might be better positioned to receive the support and guidance you need.