Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What You Need To Know About Alimony Before Divorce

Like most aspects of family law, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to alimony. There are, however, general guidelines for how and when these payments are to be made. For starters, payments always move from the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. They may also be made in either one lump sum or on a continuing basis. Although there are exceptions for shorter marriages, spousal support can be ordered anytime a couple calls it quits. With that in mind, here's what each party should know before they file for dissolution of marriage.

The Duration

When alimony is ordered, it typically continues until:

- A future date set by a judge
- The dependent spouse remarries
- Your children reach a certain age (18 at the oldest)
- A significant life event forces a judge to modify the original payment amount
- A judge decides that the dependent spouse has had enough time to become financially independent

For The Supporting Spouse

If you've been married for several years and you earn substantially more than your husband or wife, odds are you will be ordered to make regular payments. The amount you must remit is based in no small part on the standard of life your soon-to-be ex-spouse enjoyed during the marriage. In other words, he or she will not be expected to go from the penthouse to a basement apartment overnight. As the payer, you will be expected to support them in a manner to which they are accustomed.

It is also important to mention that being ordered to pay alimony is not tantamount to a guilty verdict. It does not mean you made a mistake or are mostly responsible for the breakup of the marriage. In most cases, all it means is that you make more money than your ex and must, therefore, help him/her make a smooth transition into life without you. As such, you should not see it as a failure or something that could have been anticipated.

For The Dependent Spouse

You might want to sever all ties with your ex, but refusing alimony is seldom a good idea. This is especially true if you have been out of the workforce for many years. Whether you were a stay-at-home mother or father, going back to work after a long absence can be challenging. The courts recognize that fact, which is why they often order spousal support. How is it determined?

Whether you worked during the marriage or not, the amount of alimony you receive is usually based on three factors: your earning capacity, how much your ex earns, and your standard of living during the marriage. But even when regular payments are ordered, you may be expected to make some changes in your professional life. For example, if you only have a part-time position, the court may require that you try to find full-time work within a certain period of time. The rationale for that recommendation is that spouses should not receive support when they may not need it.

Although it's not mandatory in most states, spousal support can be ordered by a judge in most cases.

When considering alimony, New York residents visit Silver & Lesser, P.C. Learn more at http://hudsonvalleylawyers.com/divorce/alimony.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Abraham_Avotina

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