Some states require one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony in a divorce. The purpose of alimony is alleviate unfair economic advantages one spouse has over the other. For example, if one spouse made all the money in the marriage will the other spouse stayed home, he or she may be ordered to pay alimony.
If you recently found out that you may have to pay alimony, you may be overwhelmed and have many questions. Family lawyers share some of the most common myths about alimony that you should never believe.
Changes Can’t Occur in Alimony Agreements
This is completely false. Alimony can be modified for a number of different reasons. For instance, if the spouse who is obtaining alimony gets a significant increase in his or her salary, alimony payments may be reduced. If the spouse who is paying alimony loses a job or gets very ill, alimony payments may also be reduced.
Alimony Lasts Forever
This is one of the most common misconceptions about alimony. The truth of the matter is that alimony is only awarded for a short time in most cases. Alimony payments can stop for a number of different reasons, such as remarriage or a higher income.
Wives Are the Only Ones Who Receive Alimony
This may have been true many years ago, but it isn’t the case today. These days, it’s becoming more and more common for the wife to be the breadwinner of the home. If wife made substantially more than the husband, she we be the only paying alimony.
Alimony Can Be Spent on Anything
Another common misconception about alimony is that it’s just free money. The fact of the matter is that alimony is taxable to the recipient and is intended to help him or her transition. If a judge finds out that the recipient isn’t making an effort to get a job and just spending the alimony on frivolous purchases, it may be taken away.
A Judge Will Award More Alimony if the Other Spouse Behaved Poorly
With all states being no-fault nowadays, a judge can no longer base alimony payments of a spouse’s behavior during the marriage. Even if the spouse had an affair or used drugs during the marriage, it won’t make a difference in the alimony payments.
Alimony is Awarded in Divorce Cases
Many people also have a misconception that judges award alimony in all divorce cases. If both spouses had high-paying careers can comfortably support themselves on their own, alimony will most likely not be granted.
If you have been ordered to pay alimony and have questions about it, don’t hesitate to speak to a divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA. Skilled lawyers can look over your case and address all your questions and concerns.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and myths about alimony payments.