How To Determine Alimony During Divorce

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Family Law Attorney Minneapolis

Alimony refers to the financial obligation between spouses during their marriage, and even after a divorce occurs. Alimony is granted to one party during divorce proceedings based on an understanding between the two parties or by the judgment of the court. Alimony is used to prevent unfair economic effects of a divorce from affecting the lower-wage-earning or non-wage-earning spouse.

Alimony’s historic roots originate from a time when divorce was uncommon. Courts decided early on that the husband was still responsible for supporting his wife, even if they had physically separated. As the years passed, women’s rights progressed, and soon the courts recognized that both husbands and wives should be held responsible for supporting the lower-income spouse. Here are some factors affecting the award of alimony.

Length of Marriage and Alimony

If you are not sure whether alimony will come into play during your divorce, know that longer marriages usually involve this kind of spousal support, though some shorter marriages also warrant alimony. Your divorce lawyer should be able to let you know how likely it is that alimony will be involved in your case.

Once it is decided that you will pay or receive spousal support, you may wonder how long it will continue. This may vary from one case to another since it depends on the circumstances. Alimony is usually only paid until the recipient remarries or is cohabiting with a new partner. However, if the recipient never remarries, alimony usually has to be paid for the lifetime of the paying spouse.

The Employment Status of the Former Spouse

If the spouse seeking alimony has been underemployed or unemployed for many years to care for the home, young children, or the spouse, that is a factor that will have a substantial effect and favor the spouse. On the other hand, the court might think differently about granting alimony if that spouse can obtain employment that will meet his or her demands.

The Income of Both Spouses

The amount of alimony depends on many factors. In most cases, the income of both spouses will be taken into consideration. If one spouse is making a bit more money than the other, he or she will likely have to pay alimony so that the two incomes are nearly equal. The bills of each person will usually also be considered, in addition to other factors of the case.

Level of Education

Another related topic of consideration is how much work or effort has been expended by the spouse to provide for their financial support. A spouse’s ability to find employment, based either on education or skills, is an important consideration. Some courts are less likely to demand support be paid to a spouse who has adequate experience, education, and resources to provide for themselves.

Whether you are worried about having to pay alimony or hope to get it from your former spouse, you will likely need the help of an experienced lawyer to get the results you desire.

Beckman Steen &Lungstrom, P.A. is a full-service law firm that deals with family law and divorce cases. When you need help with equitable distribution, which includes child custody, maintenance, alimony/child support, domestic violence, collaborative practices, and many more, you can be sure that we’ll get you satisfactory results.

Are You Filing For Divorce And Need Help?

At Beckman Steen &Lungstrom, P.A., we handle divorce cases and have experience with the ins and outs of family law. We have the best divorce attorneys in the Minnetonka area, but also a compassionate and knowledgeable staff to help you every step during your case. Call us today to get the help you need to settle the alimony and other details that go into a divorce.