Alimony Law: A FAQ

What is alimony?

If you are going through divorce proceedings, chances are you may have heard the term “alimony” floating around. Here is some extra information on what you should know about alimony law to keep you as informed as possible. Alimony Law: A FAQ

As a divorce lawyer from a law firm like the McKinney Law Group can explain, alimony is the financial support given from one spouse to the other after their marriage has been dissolved. Also known as spousal support, alimony is meant to provide a spouse with the same financial lifestyle they were accustomed to during the marriage. So this means that if one spouse didn’t work and was a stay at home parent, for example, they can expect the same sense of financial security that they had in their marriage.

How is alimony determined?

Alimony is determined on a state by state basis, but it is typically determined by looking at what spouse has the bigger need for support and if the other has the ability to pay. Typically, the judge will ask the question “ does one spouse lack proper knowledge, skills, and/or the ability to provide for their reasonable needs?”

Are there different types of alimony?

Yes. There is indefinite alimony which is granted with no end date set. There is also temporary alimony, which is granted for a specific duration of time and is usually given during the length of the divorce proceedings. 

Can a person receive alimony if they remarry?

No. The court of law believes that if you remarry, you will be in a better financial situation than being single. Because of this, when you get remarried, the spouse providing the support can appeal to have your alimony dropped.

How is the alimony amount determined?

Again, this depends on the a variety of different state factors. However, family courts tend to consider the length of the marriage, your standard of living during the marriage, the ability of one spouse to pay for the other while still supporting themselves, and the length of time the recipient needs to be trained to create their own self-sufficient income.

What do I do if I would like alimony?

Alimony eligibility is determined during the overall divorce proceedings, so make sure to speak to a lawyer about your options before you meet in court. You can then file an official request where you have the option to speak and settle with your spouse without the interference of a judge, or have a family law judge make the decision for you. If you choose the former, you can simply ask the judge to include the settlement as a part of the overall divorce outcome. It is important to note that you must request alimony during the divorce proceedings, not after. You are not legally able to ask for alimony once the marriage has legally ended and the divorce proceedings are over.

Receiving alimony can mean the difference between an amicable divorce or a bitter battle. If you have any questions about how to file for alimony or what it means to request this assistance, do not hesitate to contact an attorney today to learn more.