Alimony is a concept linked to the divorce process. However, many couples who are navigating a divorce are unsure of what the “ins and outs” of alimony actually entail. As an experienced Tampa, FL family attorney – including those who work at The McKinney Law Group – can confirm, alimony tends to come into play when spouses earn income at significantly different levels, and/or when one spouse hopes to hold on to assets of significant value and would rather pay their soon-to-be-ex money than to let go of those assets.
Below, we explore some of the questions that those seeking divorce tend to ask about alimony.
What is alimony?
Alimony is the financial support given from one spouse to the other after their marriage has legally ended. Also known as spousal support, alimony is meant to provide a spouse with the same financial lifestyle they were accustomed to during the marriage. So, for example, this means that if one spouse didn’t work and stayed home to raise their children, they can expect the same sense of financial security after their divorce that they had in their marriage, via spousal support payments.
Are there different types of alimony?
Yes. Depending on the financial situation of the couple, there are a few alimony options worthy of consideration:
- Indefinite alimony which is granted with no end date set.
- Temporary alimony, which is granted for a specific duration of time and is usually given during the length of the divorce proceedings.
- Separate maintenance which is paid from one spouse to the other when they are still married and there is no divorce on the horizon. This is meant to fill an economic need for one spouse if the couple chooses to go through a separation period or wants to live alone.
How is alimony eligibility determined?
Alimony eligibility is determined on a state by state basis during the overall divorce proceedings. When figuring out the amount of alimony, the judge will ask the following questions:
- Does the spouse requesting alimony lack the property to provide for their reasonable needs?
- Can the spouse support themselves to the same level of financial wellbeing that they had in the marriage?
- How long was the marriage?
- What was the couple’s standard of living during the marriage?
- Does the custodial parent have the means to enter the job force?
- Can the spouse paying the alimony pay what is requested while still creating a feasible standard of living for themselves?
Can a person receive alimony if they remarry?
No. The court of law believes that if you remarry, you will be in a better financial situation than being single.
Can alimony be adjusted after the court order?
Yes. Most states do have parameters in place to adjust alimony if there has been a change in circumstances for one or both spouses.
Am I able to ask for alimony after the divorce is finalized?
No. You are not able to request alimony once the divorce is finalized, so make sure to speak to your attorney beforehand if this is an important option for you.
Alimony proceedings can be confusing and complex. If you have any questions about how to file for alimony or how it can affect your life after your divorce, contact our law firm today to learn more.