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What is the purpose of alimony?

In the previous blog post, we discussed how alimony can affect your taxes. For people who are going through a divorce, alimony is sometimes a consideration but it isn't guaranteed. There are certain points that are considered when the court is determining if alimony is appropriate.

What does the court consider?

The court will consider your financial state and the financial state of your ex. It will also consider the ability of both parties to earn a living. The standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, as well as what would be needed for the lower earning spouse to be able to support himself or herself are also considered. If it is determined that alimony is appropriate, the ability of the payer to support himself or herself while making payments is factored into how much support the recipient spouse will receive.

How long are alimony payments made?

The court sets the time limit for alimony payments. The payments are usually temporary and will have a set end date. In some cases, permanent alimony is awarded but even that would end if certain events occur. Interestingly, death of the paying spouse won't necessarily stop alimony payments. There is a chance that the estate of the decedent would have to continue to make spousal support payments after the payer's death. Generally, alimony will end if the person is receiving the payments gets married.

Alimony payments are a big consideration in divorce. If you think that it will be a factor in your divorce, take steps today to learn about every aspect of alimony that might affect your case so that you are prepared for what might come.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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