What You Should Understand about Alimony Payments

What You Should Understand about Alimony Payments

What You Should Understand about Alimony Payments

Are you currently going through a divorce?  Were you financially dependent on your spouse?  Many couples that go through divorce become confused or even scared about where they are going to get their next payment.  When they depend upon their spouse for financial support, they may be scared about what divorce will mean for their lives.  As an experienced divorce attorney in Orlando, we help many couples navigate through the difficult legal process of divorce.  This often deals with alimony payments as well, which occur when one of the spouse's relies on the other for financial security.  Before you go into the divorce process, there are a few facts that you should understand about alimony.

Alimony Payments are for Financial Dependents

After divorce, the courts can decide if one of the spouses needs to pay the other spouse any alimony payments, which provide them with financial compensation used to support them.  This is especially common in marriages where one spouse was financial dependent on the other.  These payments can be made in lump sums or monthly ongoing payments, depending on the decision of the court.

Alimony Comes in Two Types

Post-separation alimony support is one type of alimony that only lasts throughout the divorce process.  Once the divorce is finalized, these payments stop.  Ongoing alimony payments, the second type of alimony, are when payments are made monthly to provide the spouse with financial compensation for their livelihood.

Alimony Is Determined Based on Salaries

When both spouses are full time employees, the courts will not typically award alimony payments for either.  However, when only one of the spouses works full-time, these circumstances are considered.  The spouse with no or little income will receive alimony payments from the one with greater income.  Also, alimony payments may be situational.  For example, if one of the spouses was staying home to raise the children, they may be awarded alimony payments until they secure full-time work and can provide for themselves financially.

Alimony Is Calculated Using Many Factors

There are many different factors that may determine alimony payments and amounts.  Similar to calculating child support, these payments are chosen based on the needs of children, business assets, length of the marriage, educational background of spouses, age, marital misconduct, earning capacity, and more.  These circumstances also depend upon the state that is issuing the divorce, so you will want to check with your local attorney.  Our divorce attorney in Orlando can help you with the alimony process to determine what you are eligible for and deserve to receive.

Alimony Can Be Mandatory for Cheaters

Some states require spouses that have stepped out on the marriage to pay their spouse alimony payments.  When a spouse has cheated, and that cheating has led to the end of the marriage, they will need to pay for their mistakes in the form of alimony payments.  This can be discussed in the terms of the divorce, but some states require this obligation for those who have performed "illicit sexual behaviors" that resulted in the divorce.

Alimony Considers the Length of Your Marriage

Whenever the courts are deciding on the terms of alimony, they will also take the length of your marriage into consideration.  The courts will look at the length of your marriage to choose the duration and amount of alimony that they believe is right for the spouse.  Typically, the longer the marriage has lasted will also mean that the duration of alimony payments will also last long.  Many courts use the half-system to determine alimony payments, which means that twenty-year marriages will result in ten-year long alimony payments.

Alimony Can Be Cancelled in Bitter Endings

If one of the spouses has cheated in the marriage, but the other one responded with a similar act of revenge, then the courts will likely cancel any alimony considerations.  These actions are not seen as favorable by the courts, and they can actually be very costly.  Even if the spouse was financial dependent on the other one, the courts will still view their actions above all else, which can be very detrimental overall.

Alimony is Waived in a 'No Fault' Divorce

When the couple chooses to file for a 'no fault' divorce, they remove the chance to file for alimony, either now or later.  When a couple has been separated for over a year, they will be able to file for this type of divorce in certain states, as this is just the legal way to dissolve the marriage.   Absolute marriages are a bit different, but not all states handle divorce in the same ways.  When neither party files for an additional motion to address payments like alimony or child support before the divorce decree is entered, they waive the ability to ever do this again.  

Alimony Payments Stop with Certain Actions

The alimony payments can be either periodic or monthly, depending on the agreed upon timing by the courts and both parties.  However, alimony payments may end when certain actions are taken by either spouse.  Alimony payments end when the spouse being supported remarries or cohabitates with another individual.  They also end when either spouse dies.  Significant events, such as a retirement or the supported spouse gaining a higher-paying job, will also put an abrupt ending to any alimony payments that were previously agreed-upon.  This is likely because the supported spouse no longer needs to be supported by the other.  Once financial independence is fully established, the alimony payments are no longer considered necessary.

These are a few facts that you should know about alimony in order to fully understand the whole process.  When you are going through a tough divorce, you'll want the advocacy, support, and guidance of a quality divorce attorney in Orlando.  Contact the attorneys at our practice to hear how we can help you today.

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