Alimony or Spousal Support in a Divorce
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is a monthly payment by one spouse to another in accordance with a divorce settlement or a court decision. You may choose to seek alimony payments if you are a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. For example, if you chose to forego your career to raise a family, you may now need time (and money) to develop your job skills. Or, if you need help to maintain the standard of living you had during your marriage, you may need financial help to do so.
To build a strong case for spousal support, you must find an experienced and reliable attorney who can evaluate your unique situation and fight for your rights. We have connected millions of legal requests to date and can help you find the perfect fit for your legal case and circumstances.
How Does Alimony Work?
Payments may be either monthly or a lump-sum, depending on the settlement or court order. Alimony is not a requirement for divorce, which means that it is awarded on a case-by-case basis. There are different types of alimony you could seek:
- Permanent alimony – This type of spousal support lasts until the payor’s death, your death as the recipient, or in case you remarry. You have the option to adjust this type of alimony later on based on life changes such as in the case of you securing a higher salary than your payor spouse.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This is the most common type of alimony you can expect. It is usually tied to a specific financial goal. For example, needing money to go back to school to gain marketable skills for the job market. This alimony is set for a specific time period that you can agree on with your spouse or let the court mandate.
- Reimbursement alimony – You may seek this type of alimony payment if you financially supported your spouse in obtaining an educational degree or building a business. You may request reimbursement for the payments made to help build your spouse’s career.
What You Must Know When Seeking Alimony
Are You Eligible for Alimony Support?
Your earning capacity, how much your spouse earns and an evaluation of your standard of living during the marriage determine your overall eligibility for alimony support.
You may ask yourself a few of these initial questions if you feel that your former spouse owes you alimony. Work with one of our dedicated attorneys to build a strong case. You’ll answer more in-depth questions, in addition to the ones below:
- How many years were you and your spouse married?
- Are you currently employed?
- What is your annual income?
- If you are not currently employed, why?
- What jobs did you hold before this marriage?
How Courts Determine Your Amount
Courts determine your payment amount by considering a variety of factors that differ depending on the state in which you file for divorce. In general, the court looks at:
- How much you and your ex-spouse could reasonably earn per month.
- What reasonable expenses you each have.
- What reasonable amount allows you both to have a similar standard of living that you had during the marriage. In divorce law, this is commonly referred to as “the standard of living established during the marriage.”
Our team of dedicated alimony attorneys can guide you through the eligibility process for your specific location. They will ensure that you receive what you deserve.
What to Do If Your Spouse Refuses to Pay
If the court awards you an alimony payment but your spouse rejects the decision, it is your right to take legal action to enforce the order by going through a “contempt” proceeding or an “earnings assignment order.” By working with an experienced and dedicated alimony attorney, you can protect your alimony rights.
Important Record-keeping of Your Payments
Once you secure your spouse support payments, you must keep records proving that you received the payments. Record-keeping is crucial for both you and your ex-spouse for tax purposes and in case of future disputes. Keep track of such information as:
- Date you received the payment
- Amount you received
- Check number or money order number
- A photocopy of the check or money order
One of our dedicated alimony attorneys can help you decide how to best note important payment information to better protect your rights.
Is Alimony Taxable?
You must be aware of federal tax rules regarding your alimony payments. In 2018, Congress passed a sweeping tax reform law that took away the right to deduct these payments as tax deductions for divorced couples starting in 2019. As a result, this new law impacts both spouses, no matter if the person receives or pays alimony.
As an alimony recipient, if you divorced January 1, 2019, or later, you no longer have to pay federal income tax on the payment. However, it now may be more challenging to negotiate for alimony payment because of the removal of the tax deduction advantage for the paying individual.
This is why you must work with an experienced and reliable alimony attorney. They’ll help secure and negotiate favorable spousal support amid such changes. We can connect you with a reputable attorney today.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
If you seek alimony payments from your former spouse, you have to understand your spousal support rights in your state. This requires the insight and guidance of an experienced alimony attorney.
Prepare yourself to take action. Give yourself the best chance of thriving in the next chapter of your life after divorce.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!