What is Alimony?

Also known as spousal support, alimony is the financial support paid by one ex-spouse to another. The purpose of spousal support is to alleviate the economic effects of divorce, especially for a spouse who hasn’t been working during their marriage. 

There are two different kinds of alimony. Temporary alimony is given during the duration of the divorce as a way to help financially until the divorce is final. Permanent alimony is simply given for an extended period of time once the marriage has legally ended.

What are the Guidelines for Determining Alimony?

These guidelines are usually determined on the state level. Simply put, the guidelines consider which spouse needs economic support and determines the level of support that they need as well as which spouse will pay for it. 

For example, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent during the marriage and didn’t have a day job, they are not always expected to get a job right away. With alimony, the spouse who was the ‘breadwinner’ during the marriage is expected to give the same amount of financial support as they did during the marriage.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Spousal Support?

Eligibility requirements are determined in a family court. Most state’s alimony eligibility laws are based off of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, that states a spouse can be granted alimony only if the following has been proven:

  • One spouse lacks the resources to properly provide for their reasonable needs.
  • One spouse is unable to support themselves with a job.
  • A custodial parent is unable to get a job if childcare duties get in the way.

Can Alimony be Granted After the Divorce Proceedings are Over?

Unfortunately, no. A request for alimony can only be stated during the initial divorce proceedings, not after. You are unable to ask for alimony after the marriage has legally ended.

What Happens if My Ex-Spouse Requests Alimony, but I am Unable to Pay?

You may feel that you cannot afford alimony, and if this is the case, your spousal support lawyer will fight your economic situation in court. Once both of the sides have presented their case, the judge will determine if alimony will be granted, and how much.

Can I Receive Alimony Even if I Choose to Remarry Down the Road?

Remarriage typically is the end of your alimony payments. This is because the court believes that once you have financial support from another spouse, your ex-spouse does not have any responsibility to take care of you financially.
If you have any questions about alimony proceedings, do not hesitate to contact an experienced spousal support lawyer in your area like those at Attorney Bernie with any questions.