Getting a divorce is a done deal. Now you might be going into panic mode because you rely on your husband or wife for financial support. How are you going to live?
Right now, you can’t pay for your everyday costs on your own or, you need some time to get back on your feet. Don’t go into panic mode just yet. You may qualify for spousal support.
If you are here it means that you are getting divorced, and want to know if you qualify for spousal alimony. Don’t know how to find out?
Don’t worry! We have you covered.
Ready to learn more?
Spousal Support: The Basics
Before we tell you how to qualify for alimony, we’ll go over the basics of spousal alimony. What is spousal support? What are the types of alimony?
Spousal alimony is a payment made every month by a spouse to the other after a divorce. In many marriages, one of the spouses is who provides most if not all of the financial support.
When these couples go through a divorce, the disadvantaged spouse remains unprotected without the financial support from their spouse. Here’s where the alimony works as a safety net for the suffering spouse.
Types of Alimony
This support can be temporary or permanent depending on the case. When temporary alimony is provided, the spouse will receive the aid for a certain amount of time. In many cases, this type of alimony is provided so the spouse can get back on their feet maybe get back on the job market, relocate, among other costs.
This type is also known as a rehabilitative alimony. This support is given for as long as necessary for the spouse to become self-sufficient.
Another type of alimony is reimbursement alimony. Here, the support is given to the spouse in return for the expenses that occurred during the marriage.
An example is when a wife attorney puts their husband through medical school. The husband may be ordered by the court to repay all the expenses for medical school to their wife. These payments will extend till the total amount is paid off.
Spousal alimony can be permanent, meaning that it will be paid until death or till the spouse remarries. This type usually applies in long marriages or, when the spouse is ill. Alimony can also be given as a lump-sum, but it depends on the case and the agreements between the spouses.
How to Qualify for Alimony?
You might be thinking, any of those types of support sound like a good option for you. But, what are the requirements for receiving alimony?
It will depend on your case but, there are questions you can ask yourself to have an idea if you qualify for spousal alimony. Do you work full time or part-time? If you aren’t employed, why aren’t you working?
Was it to stay with your children? Were you working when you got married? Are you in good health?
These are just some of the questions; you can ask yourself to know if you may qualify for alimony. It’s recommended you meet with a lawyer, to get a clearer idea of what’s your best option, and if you qualify.
When you meet with your lawyer, don’t forget to discuss your needs. If you qualify for alimony, your financial needs will determine the alimony you may receive.
How Much Alimony Will You Get?
Now that you have an idea about if you qualify, you must be asking yourself so how much will my spouse pay me in alimony? There isn’t a set formula you can follow to calculate your spousal alimony.
The court will decide based on factors such as your cost of living, if the children will remain with you, job prospects, and duration of the marriage, among others. Every divorce is different; therefore not all alimony is determined the same way. The circumstances and divorce agreements will be crucial in the amount you’ll receive.
This is one of the most important circumstances the judge will evaluate. They’ll be looking at your financial need from the self-sufficiency standpoint. This means that if the children are going to stay with you, they’ll look at your finances to check if you can support them and yourself.
If there’s a void in that need, the judge will use spousal alimony as a tool to fill it. Also if you got divorced in a state where the cost of living is high, you may receive more alimony than in other states.
Standard of Living
For many payers of spousal alimony, this is their weapon of choice to try to lower their payments. They tend to try to swing the judge their way saying that they shouldn’t be paying more in alimony according to the standard of living.
An example of this is when the supporting spouse earns a salary of $1 million a year and, asks the court to assign a payment of $50,000 in alimony payments to the other spouse. Asking this is unreasonable because we know that the spouse standard of living wasn’t $50,000 a year.
In many cases, the duration of the marriage, age, and health of the spouses will be key in the assignment of spousal alimony. The judge probably won’t assign any alimony if the marriage only lasted about 2 years.
If children are involved, then the duration of the marriage won’t be crucial in the assignment of alimony. Age and health of the spouse are very important factors in the assignment of spousal alimony. An example is, if the spouse is disabled, they won’t be able to work.
In this case, the judge will assign alimony due to the circumstances. Age can also determine the assignment of spousal alimony.
An example is if the spouse is 50 or older, and has never worked, they will have a hard time or won’t be able to find a job. Therefore the judge will assign alimony to the spouse due to the difficult situation they’re going through.
Wrapping It Up
Now that you know everything there’s to know about spousal support, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re entitled during your divorce. Getting the amount of alimony you deserve, and need may be difficult. Yet, this won’t be a headache if you cover your bases, do your research, and have the right lawyer in your corner.
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