Do I have to pay Alimony if I get divorced?
Married couples generally pool their finances, have shared assets and shared contributions to a relationship. In some cases, one spouse may make significantly more than the other and in others one spouse may not even work at all. While this arrangement can work well during marriage, it may lead to financial hardship during a divorce if one partner is unable to support herself. In order to correct this disparity of income, alimony payments may be required by the court.
What is Alimony?
Also known as spousal support or maintenance payments, alimony is a monthly payment that one individual pays to his or her ex spouse in order to make up for the loss of income after a divorce. Alimony payments are not a permanent arrangement however they can often last for years. Instead, the individual must pay alimony until the other spouse is able to maintain herself on her own income or until any children are old enough that the other person can reasonably work for long stretches outside the home.
In most cases, husbands pay alimony to their ex-wives, but this does not need to be the case. A woman may need to pay her ex-husband alimony if she has a higher-paying job than he does. This is not as common due to social norms generally making stay-at-home moms more common than stay-at-home dads, but alimony payments are based on income rather than gender.
Will I Have to Pay Alimony?
If you make substantially more money than your spouse, you will probably be required to pay alimony payments but this also depends on your state laws. Some states allow alimony to be introduced in a divorce after being married for a day while others require a marriage of 10 years or more – There are states people actually move to before getting divorced in order to avoid alimony.
How much alimony you will pay is determined by the court, and it will depend on the disparity between your incomes, the standard of living you were accustomed to while married and the earning potential of your spouse. A divorce attorney may be able to assist you in negotiating the cost of alimony down to an affordable figure.
If a person fails to pay his alimony, he may receive a court order. Failure to comply could lead to jail time and other concerns.
How long will I have to make Alimony payments for?
Alimony is not a permanent arrangement. Instead, it is a temporary funding that allows a lower-income spouse to survive the transition into being single. The court may set a specific date for how long alimony payments must be made. Otherwise, the payments will last until a judge decides that the ex-spouse is not making reasonable attempts to pursue gainful employment or the ex-spouse no longer requires financial assistance.
The court will assess the earning potential of the low-income spouse, not her actual income at the time of the divorce. This means that she may need to make some lifestyle changes in order to qualify for alimony. For example, a person working only a part-time job will need to seek full-time employment if possible before being granted alimony.
A vocational evaluator will help the low-income spouse determine what a lucrative field of work would be that could use her existing skills and education. She may help her seek employment or self-improvement as a way to create financial freedom. The sooner a person is able to sustain herself on her own income, the sooner the alimony payments will no longer be due.
Of course, alimony is also not due to a spouse who has remarried. In this situation, the new husband would be responsible for bridging the gap in incomes. Even if the new person does not make the same amount of money as you do, the alimony payments would no longer be justified.
Alimony is Seperate from Child Support
It’s important to note that alimony is separate from child support. Even if a person does not owe alimony to his ex-wife, he will still be responsible to pay her child support if the court has ordered it. Child support lasts until the children are legal adults, and this does not change if the ex-wife remarries. The new husband is not responsible for the children unless he adopts them. Otherwise, child support payments must continue until the children come of age, regardless of other events.
If you’re going through a divorce and believe you will owe alimony, it’s a good idea to discuss any questions that you may have with an attorney. He or she will be able to discuss your options with you and answer questions in accordance with state laws. This way you can be sure that you are getting the most accurate and personalized information about your divorce and finances.