Alimony, or spousal support, is a part of the on-going financial obligations between spouses, even after a divorce is finalized. This can be awarded to a party to the divorce during divorce proceedings based on either a pre-nuptial agreement or other agreement between the two parties or based on a decision made by the court. Alimony is designed to prevent the unfair economic effects that may come from a divorce that affect a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse.
Child support and alimony are very similar to child support in many aspects, but there are some key differences, particularly in the legal realm. As an example, the majority of states have very strict monetary guidelines concerning child support but alimony is based on the whim of the courts. There are not monetary guidelines concerning alimony.
The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act has been used by many states as the basis for alimony and child support decisions. It recommends that the court take into account a variety of factors such as:
- The age, emotional state, physical condition, and financial condition of both spouses
- The amount of time needed for one party to receive education or training to become self-sufficient
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The ability of the payer spouse to support the recipient spouse and still support himself or herself
All of the above criteria are still considered guidelines and so alimony is still left up to the discretion of the courts in many cases.
Alimony is often ordered as a rehabilitative basis. This means that it is only paid until the recipient spouse receives sufficient education or training to become self-sufficient. Unless a specific time period is established, the end of the payments is determined by the court. The majority of alimony awards end if the recipient spouse remarries.
If you are considering filing for divorce, make sure that you have a good divorce lawyer to represent you and your interests during the proceedings. Contact a Denton divorce lawyer from Alexander & Associates at 972-420-6560 today.
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