How is alimony decided in a divorce?

Whenever a couple initiates divorce proceedings, it’s common for one of the parties to consider alimony payments. Also known as spousal support, alimony can have a significant financial impact on both the spouse who grants it and the one who receives it.\

Nowadays, alimony is gender-neutral, meaning the recipient can be the husband or wife. It’s also a matter that can make the news when celebrities and other well-known figures receive or are asked to receive child support payments, such as a recent order issued against former New York Attorney General and Trump aide Rudy Giuliani (left), who said became that he faced jail unless he paid his former wife substantial alimony.

Child support payments may be temporary or permanent, depending on eligibility requirements and applicable child support laws.

The laws governing child support vary between different state statutes, although there are major similarities that apply in terms of how child support is handled in these jurisdictions.

In most cases, the federal states will deal with the different types of maintenance as well as the purpose and duration of the maintenance. State laws will, of course, differ, although there will also be significant overlap in how child support is awarded. For example, special alimony such as rehabilitation alimony designed to allow payments for education or vocational training, etc., is an area that will be common to most states.

State law, like that of California law, which we deal with as Orange County Divorce Attorneys, requires expertise in order for you to understand if you are entitled to alimony in order to maintain the financial status you had during the marriage.

When is maintenance granted?

In order for alimony to be granted, a judge must consider the receiving spouse’s ability to support themselves and be financially independent.

The judge can also decide whether the alimony payments are temporary or permanent, the payment is made in a lump sum, and the alimony gives ownership of common property to the recipient. Ultimately, it all depends on the circumstances of the divorce and the financial situation of each spouse.

General Maintenance Rules

Child support regulations vary from state to state, but one of the main rules is that the recipient of child support must show that they have a financial need.

The spouse applying for maintenance may also be asked to:

  • Make some changes in the way they live
  • Prove they tried to get a higher paying job
  • Undergo a professional assessment to determine their future earning potential
  • Provide evidence of how long the marriage lasted, since short-term marriages (of a year or so) are unlikely to pay alimony

maintenance calculations

There is no standard answer to the question of how much maintenance a spouse is entitled to. In some cases, couples can agree on how much maintenance one of them will receive. In other cases, the judge determines the amount of child support awarded.

To do this, the judge examines:

  • The couple’s current income
  • The ability of the paying spouse to pay
  • needs of the receiving spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s expenses
  • What child support was awarded to the receiving spouse
  • parenting regulations

Ultimately, alimony is a way for the lower-income spouse to bounce back after a divorce. In cases where the marriage has lasted a long time and the receiving spouse has stayed at home and sacrificed their career to care for the children, alimony may be permanent. This is because they may lack the experience or skills to find gainful employment.

However, the primary concern of the court is fairness. To arrive at this number, the court examines:

  • The future earning capacity of both spouses
  • The ability of the receiving spouse to support themselves
  • All obligations arising from marriage, such as B. the need to care for a child with a disability.

What can you do if child support is not paid?

If the court has ordered alimony and it doesn’t, the non-paying spouse can be held accountable. In this case, the receiving spouse can file an application with the court, which may result in fines and penalties.

The spouse who has not paid may also be asked to make the missing payments and may also be asked to appear in court where the judge will decide the best course of action.

Is there a way to get divorced without having to pay alimony?

In most cases, there is no avoiding alimony payments, especially if the receiving spouse earns significantly less than the paying spouse and the marriage lasted a long time.

You can avoid paying alimony in cases where your spouse has had an affair, for example, or stop paying if they remarry. You may also be able to show that your spouse now has a better-paying job, or you can negotiate to give assets to your spouse in exchange for forgoing child support payments.

Working with a divorce attorney is certainly one way to ensure your rights and obligations under state law are understood and applied at a time that can be both emotionally and financially draining.

Comments are closed.