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Alimony Lawyers - Spousal Support Attorneys

Alimony is also called spousal support or maintenance. Most alimony is paid to women, but it can be paid to men. It is awarded to the lower-income spouse so that he or she may maintain the standard of living that the couple enjoyed while they were married. Alimony is completely separate from and different to child support.

Types of Alimony
There are several types of alimony payments including:

  • Temporary Alimony – granted while parties are separated, but divorce is not yet final. This may be terminated, modified or made permanent when the divorce is finalized.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony– a temporary form of alimony that is paid while the other spouse “gets on his or her feet.” This allows time for the lower-income spouse to increase earning power and become self-supporting, by obtaining and education, securing gainful employment, or caring for children until they are old enough for the parent to return to work.
  • Reimbursement Alimony – pays back a spouse who has contributed to the education or furtherance of the other spouse’s career, typically with financial support. This can apply when one spouse has supported the other through college, but the education has not paid off yet, so a lump sum is not appropriate. The spouse who is ordered to pay support has a potential for a higher income due to the contributions of the spouse receiving payment.
  • Lump Sum Alimony – alimony that is paid in one large payment and ends long-term payments. This is sometimes used to replace property division.
  • Permanent Alimony - alimony payments that continue indefinitely. This can be modified over the years, and can be terminated if the spouse receiving support remarries.

Qualifying for Alimony
Each state has different standards for awarding alimony, but there are some basic factors taken into consideration including:

  • Earning capacity
  • Other income
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age
  • Physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Contribution by one spouse to education and furtherance of career of the other
  • Contribution as a homemaker
  • Amount of earning capacity reduced by parenting responsibilities

Support calculation
Each state has different rules on how to calculate alimony payments, but some basic considerations are standard including:

  • Duration of marriage
  • Standard of living established during marriage
  • Ability to maintain this standard of living based on earning capacity
  • Damage to employability of supported spouse, due to period of unemployment during marriage while engaged in homemaking
  • Impairment of employability due to current parenting responsibilities
  • Skills of the supported spouse and any need for education to establish or reestablish those skills
  • Contribution made to supporting spouse’s education or career
  • Supporting spouse’s ability to pay
  • Debts and assets of each spouse
  • Age and health of both spouses
  • Conduct of each spouse during the marriage

Court battles over alimony can get ugly and complicated. If you are suing for, or being sued for, alimony contact an experienced divorce attorney today.

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