If you’re in the process of filing for divorce, you may be ordered to pay alimony. Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case, as it depends on the financial circumstances of both parties. The best options for you should be presented by an experienced spousal maintenance lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. But, for reference purposes, we’ll provide you with an overview on alimony and what to expect if you’re ordered to pay it:
Purpose of Alimony
The reasoning behind alimony is to limit the unfair financial effect of a divorce by providing income to a lower or non-wage-earning spouse. Part of this reasoning is that one spouse may have opted to forego her career in order the care for children, and may need some time to develop a skill that can provide her with a self-sustaining income. Another reason is to provide the spouse with the same lifestyle he became accustomed to in the marriage. This is generally saved for couples who lived a more lavish lifestyle and couples who have more money and valuable assets. Your spousal maintenance lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can better explain.
While child support is calculated according to certain guidelines established by the state, courts have more discretion when determining how much to award in spousal support. However, most state’s follow the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which most states follow. This act recommends the court consider the following when determining the amounts to be awarded:
- The spouse’s income and employment opportunity.
- The couple’s standard of living before the divorce.
- How long the couple was married.
- Conduct during the marriage, such as abuse or adultery.
- The needs of any children in the marriage at both the time of the divorce and the future.
Length of Time to Pay
Alimony is sometimes referred to as “rehabilitative” so that it’s only ordered for as long as the receiving spouse needs it. If the divorce decree does not specify an exact date of when the payments will end, the payments continue until the court says otherwise. If the paying spouse feels that he should no longer be writing checks to support his ex-spouse, then he would need to take the necessary steps to file paperwork in the court that has jurisdiction over the divorce case.
Divorce is not easy and it can sometimes be extremely expensive. Before you even decide to get divorced, you may want to explore all of your options in order to fully understand your rights and the potential for how much your divorce may cost you in the end.
If you’re looking to extend or end alimony, it’s best to consult with a spousal maintenance lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Your attorney can sit down with you to discuss all of your options, including whether or not you have legal grounds to move to end support. While this is a matter you can handle on your own, divorce laws are extremely complex, so an experienced attorney will know the law and can research rulings on cases similar to yours to determine what your chances are to have a successful case.