The attitude towards alimony has evolved over the past 20 years. A man used to pay alimony to his former wife every month until she dies or remarries. At present, however, the chances of being granted a permanent alimony is quite low. The settlement is highly likely to be in the form of lump-sum payment.
Laws for alimony differ in each state. Normally though, the judge will take into consideration the factors listed below to determine if you’re entitled to alimony.
- Length of the marriage
You will receive bigger support if you have been married for a long period of time.
- The current salary and earning potential of each party
Alimony is given for the purpose of helping you keep the living standards you enjoyed while you were still married. You have a higher chance of getting alimony if you earn a significantly lower amount than your former spouse.
- Other sources of income
The judge will consider this as part of your earning potential if you earn income from non-employment sources such as dividends, interest, or trusts.
- If you helped each other for his or her career growth and education during the time of your marriage
The judge understands that the efforts of a spouse may have contributed to the success of the other spouse. This will be accounted for when the alimony is calculated.
- If you were a homemaker during the marriage
The judge knows that it may be hard for you to look for a job and earn enough money to support yourself if you only stayed at home during your marriage. Note that you shouldn’t have any other source of income in order to be granted alimony.
- If you were granted custody of your child but you have limited future earnings
Raising a child requires a lot of time and resources. This may limit your earning potential if you were given primary responsibility for your child. This will make you entitled for alimony.
- If you or your spouse were at fault or the divorce
Many states have removed fault like adultery when calculating alimony. However, this will be judged on a case-to-case basis.
If you are having difficulties in negotiating a settlement with your former spouse, the best thing to do is consult a family lawyer. He can give advice on your rights and give an estimate as to how much will be awarded for your alimony settlement. You should also consult a tax advisor for you to know the tax ramifications of alimony.
Written by Carson and Coil, the leading divorce attorney in Jefferson City, MO.