When intending to get a divorce, you must know one thing: Alimony… or the monthly support payments that’s shelled out post divorce. Alimony is still valid in the American Divorce System. However, with times changing rapidly, it is no longer only men paying.Nowadays, it is not uncommon for women (if they earn more) to be asked to pay Alimony! Generally, when both partners earn equally, there’s no Alimony involved. However, Alimony payments is usually not for marriages that only lasted for a short duration.
When Alimony is ordered, you are liable to pay it till:
- the date / duration set by the judge (this is generally a few years)
- your spouse remarries
- when your kids no longer need complete attention or require an at-home parent
- when a judge decides the reasonable period is over.
Like every other issues related to a divorce, the duration and value of the Alimony can be mutually discussed and agreed to. A divorce mediator can help you negotiate the payments. But when mutual agreement is impossible, then you can approach the court. In case the court has to interfere, a trial will commence and that can be a long and costly process.
When you are asked to pay Alimony, otherwise known as “spousal support” or “maintenance,” it does not mean you are a bad person. Take it in a positive way, as part of marriage expense that you thought was meant for life. Alimony has been in existence for over 100 years and will continue for the foreseeable future.
If you are expecting to receive Alimony, you must qualify for it. Your capacity to earn many times will determine your eligibility. The factors a judge considers when determining alimony is the possibility of your earning potential, the income of your spouse, the health and well being of the children and the duration of your marriage.
Also, as a spouse expecting Alimony, you could be asked to make lifestyle changes. You might have to take a part time job that does not pay well. You might have to go back to school to acquire new skills. Vocational Evaluators will be deployed to check on your capabilities, qualifications and also if you can perform at a chosen job and suggest relevant options.
Alimony – When your spouse does not pay.
When your spouse refuses to pay Alimony, you could approach the court and take legal action. You can enforce the Alimony order through “contempt” proceedings or go with an “earnings assignment order.” Alimony orders for monthly payments is legal and enforceable like every other court order. The judge may even choose to jail the person for reluctance!
The key thing when going through a divorce is to understand how the Alimony payments are calculated as this will save you and your spouse a lot of heartache.