October 26, 2020

Alimony / Spousal support

Alimony or Spousal Support is support from one spouse to the other in the form of money paid during and/or after divorce. While spouses are free to negotiate their own alimony payments, alimony is not automatic. Most couples will go through the court system where a judge will decide which type of alimony a spouse may receive, the duration of the alimony payments, and the amount of the alimony payments. The spouse requesting alimony must show that he or she would not be able to maintain the former standard of living, even factoring in income and the distribution of marital assets, and that the other spouse has the means and ability to pay such an award.

Leonard Legal will fight by your side to you get the results you are looking for when it comes to alimony.


Determining Alimony

The Court will consider many factors when considering an alimony award. These factors include, but are not limited to:

The standard of living established during the marriage
How long the parties were married
The tax consequences of the alimony award
The adultery of either spouse
How old each spouse is and their physical and mental status
The financial resources of each spouse
The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, employability of the parties, and the time necessary to acquire education or training
The contributions to the marriage made by each spouse, including financial support and services
Each spouses’ responsibilities to their minor children
All sources of income available to either party

Types of Alimony

There are several types of alimony that can be awarded individually or combined should the court find alimony appropriate

Temporary

Temporary alimony is paid during the pending divorce action. The spouse seeking Temporary Alimony must demonstrate that he or she has actual financial need. However, even if the spouse can show actual financial need, a court will not award Temporary Alimony if doing so would cause paying spouse not to be able to support him or herself.

Permanent

Permanent alimony payments are made to the receiving spouse for life, or until they remarry. This type of alimony is meant for situations where a former spouse is incapable of taking care of themselves, and their economic need will last for the rest of their life. Permanent alimony can also be awarded following the dissolution of a long term marriage (one lasting 17 years or more), but should be only used when no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The court should award permanent alimony payments that allow for the former spouse to maintain a similar standard of living that he or she enjoyed during the marriage.

Rehabilitative

Rehabilitative alimony is meant to assist a former spouse in becoming self-sufficient. The spouse seeking Rehabilitative alimony must provide the court with a Specific and Defined Rehabilitative Plan that should involve development of employment skills or credentials. These awards can be modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, failure to comply with the rehabilitative plan, or completion of that plan.

Bridge-the-Gap

This type of alimony is awarded to help a former spouse transition from married life to their new single life. A Bridge-the-Gap Alimony award is meant to assist with the legitimate, short-term needs of the spouse. These needs would include things like, securing a new home, set up utilities, purchase new furniture, and so on. This type of alimony cannot be modified and cannot be awarded for a period longer than two (2) years. A spouse receiving Bridge-the-Gap alimony can be awarded other types of alimony as well.

Durational

Durational alimony provides payments to a former spouse for a set period of time that cannot exceed the length of the marriage. This type of alimony can be modified as to amount if there is a substantial change in circumstances, but the duration of such payments cannot be modified.
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