Divorce & Alimony Support

By: Andrew Daigle
By definition, alimony is a specific amount of money ordered by a court to be paid by one spouse to the other. The term of payments can either be limited or indefinite and, traditionally, was designed to be paid by the husband to the wife. Historically, men were expected to support their families while women became homemakers. Today, everything has changed. With women now being a staple in the workforce, the courts have employed a new alimony-award system. Alimony, often referred to as maintenance, can now be granted to either spouse and is largely based on economic need.

Whether you are seeking or being pursued for alimony, it is important to understand the different types and what they mean to you. Permanent alimony, which does still exist, is typically granted only if the awarded spouse is unlikely to gain employment in the future. Temporary alimony, on the other hand, is granted on the basis that the receiving spouse simply needs help in maintaining a certain quality of life throughout the divorce process. One example would be a marriage separation where one spouse immediately vacates the household and leaves the other to pay the mortgage and all other household expenses. In this case, a temporary alimony award may be granted, during the course of a marriage separation, in an effort to allow the receiving spouse to get back on his/her feet financially prior to the actual divorce being finalized.

Rehabilitative alimony is considered to be a short-term support award and can range anywhere from several months to a few years.

This type of support is not permanent, but rather is designed to help the receiving spouse ‘rehabilitate' themselves into the workforce so that he/she can earn a living through gainful employment. This type of alimony is common if the spouse is temporarily unemployed, but is later expected to return to the workforce.

If you are currently dealing with alimony, as either the provider or recipient, a professional divorce attorney specializing in this area can offer powerful divorce advice. Finding the right divorce lawyer will involve discussing your case and the financial issues surrounding your case. When it comes to alimony, the court's main focus is one spouse's ability to pay the other. If a situation arises where one spouse is unable to afford payments, he/she must be able to provide proof to the divorce court through a full disclosure of finances. Divorce lawyers are essential in providing advice on divorce and how current divorce laws may affect your case. In some instances, couples can reach an agreement on alimony through divorce mediation. During this process, a neutral third-party will work with the couple to reach an amicable arrangement in all aspects of a divorce proceeding without a lengthy litigation.

As a final thought to alimony, it is important to realize that no two divorce cases are alike. If you want to find the best divorce lawyer for your individual needs, take the time to speak with several divorce attorneys in your area who specialize in the dissolution of marriage. Even if you plan to proceed with divorce mediation, having a divorce lawyer may help to protect your rights. When it comes to needing valuable divorce advice on important financial matters, hiring a qualified divorce attorney may be money well-spent.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, alimony and/or divorce laws. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.

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