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Things to Know Before a Divorce: Who Pays Alimony?

Did you know that in 2020 there were 746,971 divorces in the United States?

Few life events are more stressful or complex than divorce. However, if you have made this tough decision, consider a few things before finalizing your plans.

The first topic on most people’s minds when considering divorce is child support and custody plans. There is also the division of property obtained after the union, and any financial relations. There is also the chance of alimony. You must address alimony before going to court.

Determining who pays alimony is important for those preparing for divorce. This guide outlines how to organize things to ensure that you obtain financial assistance.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is more simply put as maintenance or spousal support. The idea of maintenance (alimony) is to provide enough money to the lower-income partner to maintain a comparable standard of living as they did before their separation or divorce.

Who Pays Alimony?

Alimony is built on the presumption that after your marriage ends, you should still be able to continue living as you were before your divorce.

If you earn all or most of the money, you’ll almost certainly have to split it with your partner. If you didn’t, your standard of living would be significantly higher than it was when you were together, while your former spouse would be significantly lower. This would not be fair!

What is the standard of living? The marriage’s quality of living refers to how you live and how much money it takes to do so.

For some, a high standard of life entails large houses, luxury vehicles, and luxurious holidays. For someone else, it involves a small home, a practical vehicle, and trips to the beach. It differs from family to family, but it is essentially determined by how much money you had to spend when married and how you spent it.

A mediator may consult with you and ask you questions to assist you in defining the quality of life you had during your marriage. Any one of these factors is critical in calculating the amount of alimony you will get or payout. Other critical questions arise after you have agreed to a standard of living and how much it will cost you per month to live that way.

How Do You Determine the Alimony

Before granting alimony, the courts weigh several considerations. Some of these include:

  • the standard of living whilst in the marriage
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s financial capital
  • each spouse’s ability to earn an income
  • the time required to obtain the requisite education or training to obtain suitable employment

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. There are several additional considerations to think about before making an evaluation. The best advice is to consult an expert to determine the correct course of action.

Alimony Types

You should be aware that the courts can grant various forms of alimony. Whether you are eligible for alimony or must pay alimony, it would be best if you knew of the various forms of alimony so that you can plan accordingly.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-Gap alimony is a financial help for a spouse to transition from marriage to being single.

The intention of bridge-the-gap alimony is to help a spouse with legitimate known short-term needs. This type of alimony, when awarded, may not last more than two years in duration.

Rehabilitation Alimony

Alimony can be awarded to assist a spouse in reestablishing their potential for self-support.

To get suitable career skills or qualifications you can do the following:

  • improving previously learned skills
  • earning new ones
  • furthering education
  • training
  • job experience required to get suitable career skills or qualifications

To have this kind of alimony granted, however, you must include a clear and specific strategy for rehabilitation in the divorce order. Your family lawyer can help you with this strategy.

Durational Alimony

When permanent periodic alimony is deemed unacceptable, durational alimony is awarded. Durational alimony aims to provide financial aid to a partner for a specified period of time after a brief or medium-length marriage. Alternatively, it can be awarded following a long-term marriage if there is no continuous need for support.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is granted to maintain the needs and requirements of life as they were formed during the marriage of the partners. Permanent alimony is granted to maintain the standard of living the partners have become accustomed to during their marriage.

There are certain limitations to any of these kinds of alimony that you should be mindful of. These caveats being their length and whether or not you can change them. Your counsel will assist you in determining what is in your best interests.

Alimony Taxes

Finally, nothing would be complete if we did not talk about alimony taxes with any other subject involving money.

Are you considering divorcing your spouse? Things have become more complex as a result of the 2017 tax reform.

Alimony payments are no longer tax-free for newly divorced Americans. Additionally, they are not considered taxable income for the person who receives them. The amendments apply to divorce agreements entered into after December 31, 2018.

What Is It to Be?

As you can see, alimony can be a major concern in addition to all of the other issues that divorce presents to a family. You most certainly have to take alimony into account, as you plan the best course of action for yourself, no matter who pays alimony.

Divorce itself is stressful enough, so if you’re considering divorce, do yourself a favor and relieve some of the tension now. We will reduce your stress by tackling the challenging subject of alimony with our knowledge and expertise.