Partner Assist Fundamentals (Alimony) – Partner Assist Authorized Blogs Posted by Joseph C. Maya, Esq.

If a couple is divorced, the court may grant maintenance or spousal support to one of the ex-spouses, either based on an agreement between the couple or a decision by the court itself. The following is a discussion of the basics of maintenance and spousal support.

Why maintenance?

The purpose of alimony is to limit the unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing continued income to an under-earning or low-earning spouse. Part of the justification is that a spouse may have given up a career to support the family and needed time to develop professional skills to support themselves. Another purpose may be to help a spouse maintain their standard of living during the marriage.

How is the maintenance amount determined?

In contrast to child benefit, which in most countries is required by very specific currency guidelines, the courts have a wide discretion in deciding whether and how much and how long maintenance should be granted. The Unified Marriage and Divorce Act, on which many states’ spousal support laws are based, recommends that courts consider the following factors when making alimony decisions:

  • The age, physical condition, emotional state and financial situation of the former spouse;
  • The amount of time it takes the recipient to train or train himself;
  • The couple’s standard of living during marriage;
  • The length of the marriage; and
  • The ability of the payer’s spouse to support the recipient and support themselves.
  • Maintenance and support orders

    Although premiums are difficult to gauge, it is even more difficult to assess whether the payer’s spouse is complying with an assistance order. The enforcement of child support payments is not comparable to the enforcement of child child support payments, which shows the “teeth” of garnishment of wages, mortgages and other enforcement mechanisms. However, the recipient could return to court in a contempt trial to force payment. Since maintenance can be granted by court order, the enforcement mechanisms for a court order are available to a former spouse who is owed maintenance.

    How long does maintenance have to be paid?

    Maintenance is often viewed as “rehabilitative”, which means that it is only ordered for as long as it is necessary for the recipient’s spouse to receive an education and support themselves. If the divorce ordinance does not set a termination date for spousal support, payments must continue until the court orders otherwise. Most awards end when the recipient remarries. Termination after the payer’s death is not necessarily automatic. In cases where the recipient’s spouse is unlikely to gain employment, possibly for reasons of age or health, the court may order the provision of further assistance from the estate or proceeds of the payer’s life insurance.

    Entertainment trends

    In the past, most alimony provided payments to ex-wives by earning ex-husbands. As culture has changed and most marriages now involve two wage earners, women are viewed as less dependent, and men are more likely to be prime parents, the courts and spousal allowance prices have kept pace. The tradition of men paying and women receiving spousal support is increasingly being undermined and ex-wife-to-ex-husband child support payments are on the rise.

    The question of alimony will arise in many divorces, whether through out-of-court settlements or in divorce proceedings. To understand your options, you should discuss the possibility of paying or receiving alimony with a divorce attorney near you today.

    If you have any questions about family law issues, please contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or email
    Source: FindLaw

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