Paying Alimony

Despite what many people believe, there are no set guidelines for Alimony. The courts consider the needs of both parties when they decide if someone should be awarded alimony. In these cases, it’s safe to assume the person who is more financially vulnerable will be awarded alimony. The reasoning stems from the fact that someone without the financial means to support themselves has to cope with their future apart from the main provider of the household income.

What the Judge Looks for When Paying Alimony

The main thing a judge will look for with paying alimony is the income of each spouse. If one person makes substantially more than the other, that person will likely be paying alimony. This is especially true if you have a stay-at-home parent that hasn’t worked in quite some time.

Alimony might not factor into a divorce if both parties make similar wages and are content with simply splitting their assets.

If you’re expecting to pay alimony in the near future, you should know a few things first:

  • Payment is usually set on a monthly basis until an assigned date is set by the judge.
  • If your ex-spouse remarries, you might not have to pay alimony any longer.
  • The judge can determine, after an appropriate amount of time, that the recipient has not made sufficient efforts to become self-supporting and alimony can be revoked.
  • There are specific events in life that can allow for the judge to modify the amount paid for alimony, such as retirement, death, marriage, bankruptcy, etc.

In most cases, both people agree on a figure and the length of time on their own, with the judge finalizing the alimony order.

The bottom line is that if you make significantly more than your spouse, you could end up paying alimony so it’s best to talk with your spouse and prepare for this situation in advance.

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