Alimony During Divorce

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Alimony During Divorce provides a spouse with help to cover living expenses until he or she can find viable employment. This has nothing to do with child support. States vary on the subject of granting alimony. The courts normally look at the financial situation of the spouse needing support and the financial ability of the partner to provide that support. One's age, health, length of marriage, ability to earn money, and property the couple owns are all considered by the court when setting alimony during divorce. One benefit to the adult who pays support is that the amount paid to the other partner is tax deductible. The spouse receiving the support must include the amount received as income on his or her tax return. "I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Payments for alimony during divorce must be paid in cash. If the couple lives in the same residence then the court will not approve alimony payments. However, if the couple is separated the court may order temporary support if needed by the partner who does not have any income. A mother who has been the primary caregiver for her children and has not worked for many years will need time to take a class or two in order to find a job. If she does not have any skills then there may be a need to go to school fulltime in order to find employment where she can make enough money to support herself. Technology changes so fast that being out of the workforce for just a couple years can make a difference on skills.

Discussing the prospect of support from a spouse could be a really sensitive subject. The partner needing support should find out what the state laws say about alimony during divorce. Once you know the laws then approach the partner with the subject. It is advantageous for both adults to come to an agreement about spousal support before going to court. If a spouse is looking for employment but has not been able to find a job then support may only be needed until he or she starts working. If the recipient spouse were not able to work because of an illness or disability the situation would lead to support for a longer period of time, maybe permanently.

Before considering an amount to pay on spousal support a couple should sit down and figure out their living expenses and find a comfortable amount for both. If an amount cannot be agreed upon then the court may have to set an amount. An attorney could help in solving the disagreement between parties before going to court. Alimony during divorce is a process that helps to lessen the stress experienced during divorce by the partner who does not have any income. If the partner without income has to take a job that only pays minimum wage the alimony may have to continue until a time when he or she can make more.

When setting an amount for alimony during divorce a judge will look at how long the couple has been married, how much money they have earned, the health of each partner, and all education expenses. If one partner has paid for the education of another then that would be considered in spousal support determination. If one spouse is a homemaker who has never worked outside the home but always stayed home with the children then the court will probably see that the partner with income pays spousal maintenance until a job is found. If the partner had not been caring for the home and children all of those years then she might be in a better position to provide for self. The supporting partner may have to help the recipient partner to get an education so that she can become self-supporting. This would be considered rehabilitative alimony.

Another option for support is for the supporting spouse to pay a lump sum amount to the recipient spouse. While periodic alimony during divorce is subject to change when a lump sum amount is set then there can be no modification. With periodic payments the amount can change based upon the ability of the recipient partner to support self. In some cases the court may order permanent alimony. This means that the former spouse will be paying support until the recipient marries or becomes deceased. Reimbursement support is a reimbursement of expenses to a spouse when incurred on behalf of the other partner.

Economic concerns can come into play with determining alimony during divorce. If the economy is so bad that there is no work available then the partner who has work income will be required to provide temporary alimony during the divorce and probably permanent alimony until the unemployed spouse can find employment. Permanent alimony is not as common today as it was years ago when most women stayed home and raised the children. Many women today work outside the home. They hire a nanny or take the children to a daycare. Some couples make a decision before the first child is born for one parent to stay home and take care of the children. When this is the situation during a divorce the stay at home parent would be eligible for spousal support.

Alimony During Separation

An estranged spouse can get alimony during separation by applying to the local family court. Because a final divorce decree can be a lengthy process, husbands or wives entitled to spousal maintenance can request the court to demand payment from an oblige while awaiting a final judgment. Typically wives who have been dependent on a husband's income are unable to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. After years or decades of marriage, few people are prepared to maintain a household alone or without sharing expenses with a mate. The mortgage still needs to be paid; the lights, water, cable and Internet still need to be paid; and the children still need to eat. Added to the trauma of marital dissolution, struggling to keep a roof over their head can become a major undertaking for an estranged spouse. Without alimony during separation wives and husbands would be forced to depend on government assistance or move in with relatives. But some states allow dependent spouses to apply for temporary maintenance along with temporary child support if minors are involved. If a couple cannot arrive at satisfactory terms for maintenance, the court will determine an equitable payment based on each spouse's income earnings.

The process for filing for alimony during separation is relatively simple. Forms can either be downloaded from the state website or picked up at a local magistrate or family court. Applicants should provide as much information as possible and fill out forms completely. A properly completed application ensures fewer processing delays. Applications from dependents requesting a temporary order hearing for spousal maintenance, immediate child custody, or support will take precedence. An applicant should also be sure to include contact information for the obligor, along with a signed and dated petition for marital dissolution which substantiates and corroborates a dependent's claim. Names, ages, and date of birth for all minor children may also be required, as a judge will determine spousal and child support based on an applicant's need.

Marital problems such as having to pay alimony during separation can sometimes be avoided if husbands and wives would follow biblical principles: "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil" (I Peter 3:7-12).

Once the proper paperwork has been filed and reviewed by a judge, a temporary order hearing will be scheduled to hear from the dependent and the oblige. The hearing might take a half hour or less, as the judge will have reviewed all documentation prior to making a ruling. The responsibility to provide documentation to substantiate claims for alimony during separation lies solely on the dependent spouse. Proof of earnings, such as a pay stub or income tax returns; and itemized expenses will demonstrate the dependent's need for monetary support. Other assets under consideration include jointly owned real estate holdings, stocks and bonds, trusts, or certificates of deposit. The judge will also take into consideration the obliges income and other financial obligations or indebtedness. Spousal maintenance will commence within a few weeks after the judge announces a ruling; however at a lengthier hearing during the divorce proceedings, temporary payments will convert to a more permanent sum.

Living expenses covered under alimony during separation include housing, food, clothing, utilities, health care and transportation. The oblige usually makes monthly payments directly to the court where they are recorded and forwarded to the dependent spouse. The penalty for failure to pay a court-ordered alimony during separation can include revocation of the oblige drivers license or wage garnishment. Oblige and recipients should bear in mind that money given to an estranged spouse or child outside of the court does not count towards spousal maintenance, and is considered a gift. A recipient who elects to move out of state or has an increase in income should report those changes to the agency which originated the order. Moving to an out-of-state location in the middle of proceedings might be problematic for the oblige and the recipient. The cost of attending hearings, visitation for the non-custodial parent, and long distance communication are all factors which might impede a final ruling or increase the amount of spousal support necessary to provide for an ex-wife or husband.

An oblige may seek to modify court-ordered spousal support pending a final divorce decree, especially if he or she is laid off or terminated from work or becomes disabled. Including proper documentation to support claims of an inability to meet court-ordered obligations or decrease the amount of spousal maintenance will help the oblige win their appeal. Couples who elect to reconcile before a final divorce decree is issued should notify the court about revoking the order for alimony during separation. Reconciliation during divorce is not uncommon; and the courts would have to cancel the order to avoid penalizing the oblige. Couples on the brink of ending a marriage may find that living together and attempting to work out differences or resolve issues may be more cost-effective in the long run than trying to pay alimony, manage two households, schedule visitation rights, or start all over again in another state.

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