If you are beginning the divorce process, it is often incredibly important to understand alimony and how it may impact your own situation. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to provide you with the information about how alimony may apply to your own situation. There will be differences depending on the particular aspects of your situation, such as the location that you live in, as well as the factors of your own marriage. Our team at Kaufman, Nichols, & Kaufman can help to ensure that you are able to achieve the best outcome for your divorce process. Here are a few of the things that you need to know about alimony.
Often Very General
It’s difficult to determine specific information about alimony, because guidelines vary between situations and states. Some states will provide general guidelines regarding how to calculate alimony payments, but the specifics will often be up to the presiding judge. In order to avoid this, it is possible for a couple to determine alimony payments between themselves. Having an attorney to represent you is essential when alimony will be a consideration during your divorce.
Important Factors that Are Considered
There are many factors that will be used to help determine alimony payments. The judge will often look at the division of property in the divorce agreement, as well as the separate income of each spouse. It is also important to understand that earning capacity may be considered, rather than specific income. Other important factors include any assets and obligations that either person has, the total length o the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the needs of any children, and many other considerations.
Earning capacity is not the same thing as actual income. When alimony payments are determined, it is common for the court to consider earning capacity. This essentially describes the amount of money an individual could be making, rather than the amount that they actually are. For example, an individual with a graduate degree that is working as an artist will likely have their earning capacity considered, because they will be capable of making more money than they actually are.
At Fault Divorces
The reason for the divorce may also impact the ability for the person to obtain alimony. This will depend on the state’s specific laws and requirements, as well as other components of the divorce. For example, if one partner committed adultery, it is possible that the other one will be awarded alimony payments. If this individual was the financially weak one, they may not be able to receive these payments.
Alimony is most often a temporary measure. In general, the longer the marriage was, the longer alimony payments will be required. They are generally designed to allow the financially weak spouse to maintain the same standard of living while they take further steps to improve their own financial situation. This can help them to get back into the work force or gain an education. Alimony payments may be permanent in some situations, such as extremely long marriages where one spouse left the workforce to provide housekeeping and child raising.
Multiple Types of Alimony
There are many types of alimony that may be awarded after a divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is often designed to allow an individual to receive schooling or training to increase their income. Reimbursement alimony is essentially used to provide “reimbursement” for one spouse that financially supported the other through their own schooling. Temporary or term alimony are generally designed for a set period to allow the financially weak spouse to make adjustments. Permanent alimony, of course, is designed to be permanent.
Alimony is an important consideration for couples that are undertaking a divorce, especially when they have had a particularly long marriage. Working with a divorce attorney can help you to receive the best possible outcome for your own divorce. Understanding alimony will help you to make better decisions for your divorce. It is also essential to remember that alimony payments are not the same thing as child support. These are different payments entirely. To learn more about alimony and how it will impact your particular situation, contact us at Kaufman, Nichols, & Kaufman today!