As you may have heard from loved one and friends who have gotten divorced, the entire process can be prolonged and quite painful. The couple divorcing may have to make plenty of decisions regarding their children, shared assets, finances and more. Perhaps a very tense and complicated topic to delegate is whether a spouse should receive alimony, including how much and for how long the financial support lasts. Understandably, the divorcing couple may not be able to agree upon this decision on their own. Sometimes, a judge has to make the ultimate say about whether a spouse must make payments to the other.
Here in the article below, we have strived to answer the question: What factors determine the terms of alimony? Please read on for more information!
What factors may a judge take into consideration when determining alimony?
While the laws surrounding alimony between divorcing couples can greatly differ depending on where you live, there are several factors that tend to be common when alimony orders are created. When your judge chooses whether a spouse shall receive alimony, these are the common factors that can contribute to the final decision:
- How long the couple was married (months, years, decades)
- The age of each spouse
- The wellbeing of each spouse (physical and emotional health)
- The spouse’s level of financial need and to what degree the supporting spouse can make these payments
- The standard of living that was established during the marriage
- The potential earning capacity for each spouse (including education level)
- Which parent has more responsibility in caring for shared children
- The income available to each spouse from investment of assets
- The distribution of marital property between each spouse
In what circumstances may an alimony order be changed?
It is possible that later on after the alimony order has been decided by a judge, that one or both spouses goes through a major life change. Depending on that life event, a spouse may request a modification of alimony terms. However, if there is a statement within the final alimony order or divorce judgement that does not permit alimony to be changed, then the request is likely to be denied. Here are circumstances which may necessitate a modification of an alimony order:
- Either spouse has recently had a huge increase or decrease in their income
- Either spouse has had a serious change in their health status (newly developed illness or disability)
- The spouse receiving alimony payments has gotten remarried
- The spouse making alimony payments has become retired
- Either spouse has become recently deceased
What if I have questions or concerns about the alimony process?
Couples who are confused about the alimony delegation process, may turn to a legal professional familiar with these types of situations for legal support. It is normal for couples to be heartbroken and angry during the divorce. Many soon-to-be divorced spouses may find having a divorce attorney, like from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, to work on their behalf, can help lessen the weight of such an emotionally turbulent proceeding.