On the eve of a divorce, one of the issues you might be facing is the possibility of paying your spouse alimony after your marriage ends. If you have not yet hired a divorce lawyer, it’s important to do so without delay. A family law firm handles all matters of family law, including divorces and alimony arrangements.
Determining Alimony Eligibility
If you think you might have to pay your spouse alimony, a divorce lawyer can review your financial circumstances and the information you provide about your spouse. Armed with the numbers and other details about your spouse such as their level of formal education and job training, job history, and skills base, your divorce lawyer can determine your spouse’s eligibility for alimony. For example, if they earn about the same annual income as yourself, you will probably not have to pay them alimony. If they have not been recently employed but are highly educated in a field that pays well, a judge may determine that your spouse can only receive alimony for a very short time until they return to work. Under the latter circumstances, the judge may rule that your spouse will not receive any alimony. Your divorce lawyer will present the facts to the judge and argue with your best interests in mind.
The Terms of Your Alimony Agreement
Alimony usually has an end date or milestone attached to it. In other words, at a certain predesignated time, you can stop making alimony payments. The end date will be decided in your divorce agreement after negotiations between your divorce lawyer and your spouse’s divorce lawyer or by a judge during divorce court. The end date is usually associated with one of the following:
- The date by which your divorcing spouse will have completed their educational degree or vocational training. This may be even before they obtain employment.
- A date by which they are expected to reenter the workforce and earn a level of income that renders alimony unnecessary for them to be able to pay their basic living expenses.
- Until such time as they remarry.
- If you experience dramatic decrease in annual income, or their annual income significantly increases.
Modifications to Alimony Terms
If at some point while you are still paying alimony your circumstances change, your divorce lawyer can petition the court for a reduction or a halt (temporary or permanent) of your alimony payments. Very often, this is because the person paying alimony lost their job or experienced a dramatic reduction in salary while the recipient is making the same income or in fact increased it since the divorce.
Contact a Skilled Divorce Lawyer
If you anticipate having to pay your spouse alimony, it’s important to have a skilled divorce attorney who can advocate for your rights and best interests. Call an attorney today to learn how a divorce lawyer can help you.