Life,  Other

The Basics of Alimony and Spousal Support


No one wants to go through a divorce in their lives. It can get messy and personal, really fast. But it’s best to be as educated as possible on the details of divorce proceedings and what may go along with them.


One of the factors that may go into a divorce is alimony, or spousal support. This is completely dependent on either the soon-to-be ex-couple or the court, itself. So alimony may not be extended in every single divorce case.


But what exactly is alimony and how does it work? Well, that question is going to be answered in the below article. No matter if you’re looking for an Austin Spousal Support Attorney or an attorney in any other place in the US, you’re going to need to be aware of the important details before working with your lawyer.


What is Alimony?


Imagine that you’re going through divorce proceedings, but you realize that your ex-spouse is completely dependent on your income to live. Or he or she has an incredibly low-wage job that does not cover their basic living costs. Either you or the judge is going to notice this if this is the case.


That’s when alimony comes into play. The purpose of spousal support is the limit the negative economic impacts on one spouse that may come with a divorce. It’s basically an amount of money that’s given to the spouse that doesn’t earn enough money every month for a specified amount of time.


Depending on the situation, this low-wage earning spouse may have given up his or her job to support the family or may have been forgoing starting a new career in order to learn some new skills to practice. When either of those are the cases, that’s the best reasoning for alimony to come into play.


How is the Alimony Amount Decided?


This is where the tricky questions come into play and when the help of a spousal support attorney is really needed. The amount of alimony paid out and for how long varies from case to case, unlike child support, which is based on strict monetary guidelines. It’s basically all up to the courts to decide how much spousal support needs to be put out for each individual case.


However, it’s recommended that the following factors are taken into mind when considering spousal support amounts:


  • The physical condition, age, mental well-being, and financial condition of the ex-spouse.
  • How long the spouse needs to complete their education or training in order to start their careers.
  • The standard of living of the couple while they were still married.
  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • How likely is it that the wage-earning spouse will be able to continue to support their ex-spouse and still support themselves.


How Long Does Alimony Need to Be Paid?


Spousal support is only paid out for as long as the ex-spouse needs to get back on their feet, complete any education or training they are in, and get into their careers and becoming self-sustaining. In that sense, it is a rehabilitative amount that should be paid for as short a time as possible.


Depending on the specific divorce case, it may be that there is no date set for the alimony payments to stop. This means that the court would have to decide at a later date when it would be sufficient that the payments cease. In fact, most alimony payments ends when the ex-spouse has remarried and has another source of income.



And those are the basics of alimony, or spousal support. Be sure that you’re aware of these details before heading into divorce proceedings with your spousal support attorney.



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