Alimony is money paid by one spouse to the other following a divorce. Alimony is meant to correct any economic imbalance that occurs as the result of a divorce, such as when a stay-at-home spouse requires an income source. This post will cover the basics of alimony and provide a general overview of spousal support. However, alimony can be complicated, so it is highly recommended that you contact a divorce attorney in Norfolk to help you understand what alimony is and how it will affect you.
What Is Alimony?
Like we said, Alimony is money paid by one spouse to the other for the purpose of improving the disadvantaged spouse’s economic situation. For example, if a surgeon and his stay-at-home wife get divorced, the surgeon may be required to pay alimony to his former wife until she can become self-sufficient.
Either the court or the spouses will decide the amount of alimony to be paid. There are multiple factors that go into calculating an alimony payment, such as the age of both spouses, the amount of time it will take to become self-sufficient, the quality of living during the marriage, and the length of the marriage.
It’s important to understand that alimony is gender neutral; whichever spouse makes more money is the one who will be required to pay it.
How Long Does Alimony Have to Be Paid?
Alimony is intended to be rehabilitative. In other words, it is only required until the receiving spouse can become economically self-sufficient. Some divorce settlements will not specify a termination date. In this case, he alimony will continue to be paid until the court decrees otherwise.
If the recipient remarries, most alimonies will end. However, the alimony payer’s death does not necessarily mean the payments will end. If the recipient is determined to be still in need of support or unlikely to find meaningful employment, then the court may order that alimony is paid out of the payer’s estate.
Unlike child support, alimony is not enforced through wage garnishments or liens. As a result, it may be harder to force the paying spouse to comply with the court order. If a spouse is not receiving alimony, however, they can file a contempt proceeding in court to force the payment.
How Alimony Affects Taxes
Because alimony is considered the income of the receiving spouse, the payer can deduct the payments from his or her taxes. There a few requirements to meet beforehand, though:
• You and your spouse do not file joint tax returns
• Payment is made in cash (checks or money orders)
• If legally separated, you and your spouse are not still members of the same household
• Your payment is not considered child support
• You are not liable to make a payment after the former spouse’s death
If handled wrong, alimony can be one the most damaging consequences of a divorce. Since alimony laws vary by state, you should contact a divorce attorney in Norfolk, VA if you think that you might be required to pay alimony as a result of your divorce. A good lawyer will make sure that you are treated fairly and help you get through your divorce with the most beneficial outcome possible.
The Firm For Men specializes in representing men in their divorce. We believe that divorce courts typically favor women, and have made it our mission to ensure men receive the outcomes they deserve. If you are a man and want to make sure that the courts treat you fairly during your divorce, feel free to reach out to us at our location “The Firm For Men” or by phone at (757)383-9184.