Alimony or spousal support can be one of the more confusing aspects of divorce. Unlike child support there are few specific or concrete laws that regulate alimony. However, there are several general guidelines that dictate the rules surrounding alimony and a few common factors that go into these decisions.
Here’s what you should know about alimony.
Who Gets Alimony?
Alimony is designed to limit any unfair economic effects of divorce. It is supposed to help the lower-earning or non-earning spouse continue their life at a similar standard while they learn to support themselves. That means that the lower earning spouse, or a non-spouse can receive alimony if the arrangement dictates it.
For example, a wife who decided to forgo pursuing an education and career in order to raise the children may receive alimony payments while she goes back to school and develops skills that will allow her to get a job to provide for herself after divorce.
What Can It Be Used For?
Another common question involved in alimony is “what can you use it for?” As mentioned before, alimony is designed to help both spouses continue their lives at a similar standard to the marriage should it change after divorce due to adjustments in income or taxes. You
Alimony is designed as a temporary arrangement. It is deemed “rehabilitative” and ordered only as long as necessary for the recipient to become self-supporting. Most people use alimony payments to pay rent or mortgages and other bills.
How Is It Determined?
Since there are few concrete laws regarding alimony payments, the decisions to award it can vary. Judges usually use a few different factors to decide how to award and how much, including the age and state (physical, emotional and financial) of each spouse as well as the standard of living during the marriage.
The amount and type of alimony you are awarded is either based on your arrangement with your spouse or your circumstances and can be hard to predict. However, your divorce attorney can give you a better idea of your situation.