Contrary to what many believe, alimony is not guaranteed in a divorce. Alimony is designed to help the spouse with substantially less income maintain a lifestyle similar to what was enjoyed during the marriage. In some cases, the court expects the supported spouse who to eventually become self-sufficient. In other cases, it is not reasonably possible for a supported spouse to become self-sufficient.
Some of the different types of alimony a spouse might be awarded include:
- Permanent: If a couple was married for a substantial amount of time or the receiving spouse has a disability, permanent alimony might be awarded, which would remain in effect until the death of either party or if the recipient remarries.
- Gross: If gross alimony is awarded, the paying spouse must pay the full amount in a single lump sum.
- Rehabilitative support: To assist the supported spouse for a short amount of time, a judge might grant rehabilitative support. The supported spouse can use these payments to return to school and find gainful employment.
How is Alimony Determined?
Several factors are taken into account when determining if a spouse should be granted alimony. If a spouse is self-sufficient, it is unlikely he or she will receive alimony.
However, if a spouse cannot maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage, a judge will consider what type of alimony should be awarded based on the following factors:
- The duration of the marriage
- The needs of the spouse who is requesting alimony
- The health, education, age, and work experience of both spouses
- The ability of the paying spouse to make alimony payments
If permanent alimony is awarded, it can be terminated under the aforementioned circumstances, or if the supported spouse lives with a romantic partner. It is assumed that if a supported spouse lives with a new romantic partner, he or she will have the benefit of another income and no longer needs alimony payments. However, it can be challenging to prove a romantic relationship exists, so be sure to hire an experienced attorney.
Speak to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!
If you are going through the divorce process and are unsure if you are eligible for alimony, you need an experienced family law team on your side to help you navigate this process, so you can obtain what you are entitled to. At the Law Offices of Elaine Stypula, our divorce attorney has more than two decades of legal experience and is committed to guiding clients through the most complex family law matters. For the personalized, one-on-one assistance you need during this difficult time, put your trust in a team that focuses on helping clients pursue and achieve a better, brighter future.
Reach out to our law office today at (248) 565-3800 to schedule a free initial case review with our knowledgeable and compassionate attorney. Elaine Stypula personally returns phone calls.