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Alimony (Spousal Support)
In the United States, alimony is an attempt to help a spouse live according to the means they have become accustomed to. It attempts to adjust the incomes of the spouses so that they are able to approximate their prior lifestyle factors, which influences the amount and duration of spousal support. Once alimony has been granted, it becomes an ongoing financial obligation, which is sometimes referred to as spousal support. It is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above the money provided by child support. Different from child support, which is obligatory, alimony is very much implemented by the discretion of the judge. Since the subject of alimony is quite complex, it is always best to speak with a divorce attorney so that you know where you stand when it comes to alimony. Contact a StraightDivorce.com sponsored divorce lawyer learn more about paying or receiving alimony.
When is Alimony Granted?
The future financial prospects of one or the other parties are a determining factor when alimony is granted. Whereas child support is based on one parent contributing to the support of the children of a marriage, alimony or spousal support is based on support of the other spouse to help after the marriage is dissolved. Child support is not a payment that affects US taxes, as it is considered a payment that a parent makes for the support of their children. Alimony on the other hand is treated as income to the receiving spouse and is deducted from the income of the paying spouse. Courts may order either the husband or the wife to pay alimony, though more often it is the husband who pays. Submit your case to Straightdivorce and a sponsoring family law attorney will be able to determine if you might be a candidate for alimony.
Who Pays Alimony?
When a divorce is petitioned, either party from the marriage may ask for post-marital alimony. It is never an absolute right, but is often granted based on the circumstances of one or the other spouse. If the parties cannot agree to the alimony terms of the divorce, the court makes a determination, which can be modified based on changes or circumstances by either party. Generally speaking, unless the changes are compelling, courts are reluctant to modify existing agreements. A spouse is a candidate for permanent alimony if a marriage has lasted over ten years. Generally more youthful spouses are able to move on with their lives and therefore require shorter periods of alimony support. Contact a divorce lawyer to find out whether you will have to pay alimony.
What if Alimony is Withheld?
If the spouse fails to pay alimony, there are not usually any special legal options available to the party that is owed money therefore those trying to recover back alimony generally have to resort to collection procedures. Your family law attorney can give you the information you need about withheld alimony.
About the Divorce Attorneys at Straight DivorceWhen dealing with family law and divorce issues, a divorce attorney can help make the transition a little smoother. Making the divorce process as simple as possible, the divorce lawyers at Straight Divorce are available for consultation by filling out the free divorce case review or by calling us at 1 (877) 420-6657.