Alimony evens the playing field when couples separate or divorce. It’s a fact that some spouses make more money than others. The pooled income provides for a comfortable lifestyle. Alimony was created so parties could live in equitable fashion after they part ways. In the sixties and seventies, alimony was usually awarded to the wife. That’s not the case anymore. Alimony is awarded for economic reasons.
1. Am I Entitled to Alimony?
Talk to someone with family law experience before filing for divorce. You need to have a picture of what your economic future looks like. Further, there are tax consequences to divorce and alimony. It’s a good idea to gather documents like mortgage papers, bills and bank account statements. You’ll need this information to prove you need alimony.
2. What the Law Says
The law states that alimony may be awarded to either party in a divorce. However, the judge must initially determine whether alimony is needed. Likewise, the judge looks at whether the other party can afford to pay alimony. An award of alimony may be bridge-the-gap, durational, permanent, temporary or lump sum. In addition, alimony can be paid as a combination of the forms.
3. Permanent Alimony
Parties in a long-term marriage are more likely to receive permanent alimony. Further, it’s common for someone who hasn’t worked to be awarded permanent alimony. A marriage is considered long-term when it passes the 17-year mark. Permanent alimony ends when one of the parties dies or the receiving party remarries.
4. Durational Alimony
Durational Alimony helps those who haven’t been married for a long time. A party may receive durational alimony for a set time following the divorce. The lawmakers did not intend for durational alimony to last forever. Indeed, payments may not last longer than the length of the marriage.
4. Rehabilitative Alimony
Persons in shorter-term marriages may be awarded rehabilitative alimony. Just like it sounds, rehabilitative alimony is used to help the party get on their feet. The court will not take a party’s word for it. Rather, the judge wants to see rehabilitative plans. For example, a letter of acceptance to a college or vocational school may be used.
5. Lump Sum Alimony
There are benefits to lump sum alimony. For instance, one is able to invest the money. A lump sum could be worth more in five years than money received monthly. Additionally, there’s no worry about having to take the ex to court for past-due support. Remember, they could lose their job in the future and you’ll have to go back to court.
6. Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
Bridge-the-Gap Alimony is often referred to as transitional alimony. The award is designed to give a helping hand to one learning to live on their own. Further, the individual must be able to show specific short-term needs. This alimony award cannot last longer than two years. Further, the law bans modifications of bridge-the-gap alimony.
Perhaps, alimony will not be necessary one day. There are many trends that may affect payments. More and more women are working while children attend day-care. That’s simply because both parties must work to make a decent living. In addition, a lot of businesses allow employees to work from home. These workers can take care of the children and work. How will this affect the payment of alimony?