Spousal support, or alimony, may be awarded following a divorce. It provides financial support to a spouse who did not earn an income during the marriage or who earned a much lower income. Spousal support may last for a certain time period or, in some cases, may be ordered for life.
The decision to award alimony and its terms is often at the discretion of a judge, although a couple may be able to agree on a payment schedule if the divorce is amicable. This may be the more attractive method, although it is not right for everybody, so be sure to discuss the particulars of your case with a divorce attorney.
Factors Influencing Spousal Support
Alimony may be decided by various factors such as:
- age and physical and financial condition of the spouses;
- whether one spouse is unemployed or lacks education or job training;
- length of the couple’s marriage;
- standard of living during marriage; and
- whether one spouse can afford to pay alimony to the other.
Alimony may continue until the recipient becomes employed or receives a sum of money large enough to support him or herself. It also may end when the recipient remarries. If the payer dies, he or she may still need to continue alimony payments through an estate in some cases. However, alimony ceases when the recipient dies.
Alimony must be paid in money, not services or property. It cannot be paid if the couple files a joint tax return or live in the same residence. There also must be a written agreement outlining the payment amounts, schedule and other terms.
Discuss your rights during a divorce by contacting Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P. Contact us today at 1-888-584-9614 to set up a consultation. If you are going through a divorce, you may have to pay alimony or you may be eligible to receive it.