Alimony is a common topic of dispute among those going through divorce. Alimony may also be referred to as “maintenance” or “spousal support,” and the intention is to ensure that neither spouse endures financial hardship after separation. Many people may think they don’t qualify to receive alimony, when this could be entirely untrue. Depending on how much each spouse made and other variables, one spouse may need financial support until he or she becomes more financially independent.
An experienced attorney can answer any questions you have about fighting for a fair alimony arrangement. Alimony is often a tense and contentious issue, so it is understandable that many spouses will turn to a legal professional for guidance.
You and your spouse may be spending a large chunk of change in legal fees due to the divorce, so it makes sense that the topic of alimony can turn heated quickly. With support from an attorney, you can get advice as you try to negotiate the terms of alimony outside of court. Couples who can stand to be in the same room together may try mediation as a way to hopefully reach a middle ground regarding alimony. However, if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, then you will have to attend court over the matter instead.
If an Agreement is Reached
If the divorcing spouses come to an agreement over alimony and the judge accepts it, then they can avoid spending unnecessary time in court. If your spouse is entitled to receive alimony but wants to waive it, it is important for an attorney to document this in writing and have it signed by both parties. Unfortunately, due to the emotional nature of divorce, your spouse may not want alimony one day and then completely change his or her mind the next. It is important that you are protected along the way, and everything is solidified in writing.
How Alimony May Be Paid
Alimony may be paid from one spouse to the other via a large lump sum or through ongoing payments. If there is immense tension between the spouses, one big check may be preferred over recurring payments so neither party has to be reminded of the divorce every month (or however often the payment schedule). Alimony may be required to be paid until the receiving spouse remarries, moves in with a partner who is financially supporting him or her, or has another significant change in life circumstances. The same goes for the paying spouse — if he or she endures a job loss, retires, or gets hurt, then the alimony terms may be adjusted to suit the new situation. The very last thing you need while going through a divorce is additional stress. Spouses who need help fighting for a fair amount in alimony can turn to an attorney.