Family Law: Alimony Basics Explained

Alimony payments are tax-free income and will not be taxed. In most cases, a judge has the final say on the amount of alimony that is awarded to a spouse in divorce court and it is considered a private matter between the parties.

During a divorce, it is a common practice for a judge to order that alimony payments be shared between both spouses to help with the financial hardships that often result from divorce. Divorce lawyers can offer assistance to help attorneys for either spouse to obtain an order for alimony.

Alimony is typically paid until a divorce decree is executed for spousal support and child support. Upon the dissolution of the marriage, the court ordered alimony is also available for the benefit of the divorced spouse to assist in the purchase of a home or other form of financing. An example of spousal support is paying a percentage of your income until you remarry.

Spousal support according to a divorce lawyer is meant to ensure that both spouses can remain in their respective homes. If one spouse is not able to make the payments, it becomes his or her responsibility. Many times, the judge may order that a non-custodial parent who has a minor child stay with that parent until the child reaches a specific age.

Depending on the state in which you live, a spouse may be able to negotiate a lower amount of alimony payment. You may be able to make a down payment before the divorce papers are even filed. Most states require a bond to be deposited before it is legally possible to begin negotiations for alimony.

If a spouse is receiving benefits like Medicaid or food stamps, he or she can agree to forgo the amount of alimony and require the non-custodial parent makes payments for them. This can sometimes be successful because it is an attempt to preserve your self-respect as a dependent that is entitled to welfare.

Most often, the court will look at the duration of the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the circumstances surrounding the divorce in determining the maximum amount of alimony to award. If the court believes there is reason to believe that the spouse receiving the alimony is capable of paying it, the court may order that alimony be paid.

The actual amount of alimony to be paid will vary depending on many factors such as the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the ability of the other spouse to pay. However, the number one rule when it comes to alimony is that it should never be offered as a form of revenge. Contact Voelker and Kairys attorneys at law to learn more about this.