If you are looking at the possibility of seeing your marriage end soon, you may wonder about child support and alimony. While child support is all but inevitable if you have children, paying alimony isn't so cut and dry. There are certain financial expectations that come with having to pay alimony, and it's completely dependent upon your state's laws. But here is a general overview of alimony as a whole, so you can get a better understanding of situations in which you may be ordered to pay it.
Alimony is Alive and Well
There may be some type of misconception surrounding alimony, because there are many more women in the workforce today than there were 50 or 60 years ago. Back then, when husbands were the main breadwinner of the family, if a couple divorced, the wife may not have had many skills outside of running a home and raising a family, and was completely dependent upon her husband's financial support. Today, with more and more women who have careers and jobs, the need for financial support from a husband isn't as great. But that does not mean it doesn't exist.
In general, if you earn substantially higher wages than your spouse and you've been married for a number of years, you may be ordered to pay alimony, or "spousal support", depending on the state you live in. If you have not been married for a long time, or your spouse makes close to the same amount of money as you do, alimony will probably not be awarded.
Alimony Payment Duration
If you find yourself ordered to pay alimony to your spouse, there will be a designated amount ordered that will end when the following happens:
- A date, set by the court, is reached
- Your former spouse remarries
- A full-time parent is no longer a necessity for your children
- The court determines your spouse has not made a reasonable effort to become self-supporting on their own
- A significant even like retirement, for which the court may at least modify the monthly amount
- Your former spouse dies
It is possible for you and your spouse to come to an agreement as to how much alimony will be paid and for how long it will be paid. If you can't come up with an agreement on your own, the court will make the necessary decisions for you. So if you are faced with the prospect of paying alimony, it may be beneficial to work towards an agreement in order to avoid the time and cost of court appearances. Speak with a family law attorney like Aaron Law Offices PLLC for more info.