Alimony is a routine payment paid by one spouse for the maintenance and support of the other. Sometimes alimony comes in a lump sum to help a spouse get started on his or her own after divorce, while other times it is paid in monthly installments. Normally the spouse that makes less money is the one who ends up with alimony if the court awards this financial benefit. Sometimes, in cases where one spouse stays home with the children and the other spends his or her days at work, the unemployed spouse will receive alimony. A divorcing partner can choose whether or not he or she wants to seek alimony from the other when determining the divorce procedure.
While you can choose whether or not you want to seek alimony, a court will determine whether or not you can receive it. The judge will look at the marital misconduct of the spouses, the earnings and the earning capacity of both spouses, and the ages of the spouses before making their decision. They will also look at the mental and emotional conditions of both partners, the duration of the marriage, and the benefits that each spouse receives. The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or earning of the other spouse may play a factor.
Judges will also consider the relative needs of the partner seeking alimony and whether or not that husband or wife contributed to the marriage as a homemaker. If one spouse brought more property into the marriage than the other, this may influence the judges’ decision. Courts will also evaluate the tax ramifications of an alimony award. Once all of these factors have been taken into account, the judge will choose whether or not to award alimony and determine how much and for how long. If you are seeking alimony, you will want a family lawyer on your side to fight for you. At the Hopper Law Office, we work hard to give our clients the divorce outcomes that they desire. Contact us today to get more information about seeking alimony.