Alimony

Divorce settlements often include financial terms, including alimony payments. Alimony may also be referred to as spousal support. When a couple divorces, judges often award alimony to the financially dependent spouse. The terms of alimony can also be negotiated between the divorcing couple. If an agreement is not feasible, a judge will likely award what may be considered a reasonable amount based on several factors. 

Alimony payments are meant to bring status quo and rehabilitation to the financially dependent spouse after divorce. The chances of receiving alimony payments are higher in a marriage that lasted for a longer period. If the divorce occurs shortly after marriage, then alimony will likely not be awarded. A spouse’s separate property prior to marriage and inheritance are not included in the financial settlement during divorce.

Factors Considered

When deciding to award alimony payments and the amount to be paid, courts look to the following factors:

  • If and how much each spouse was earning during the marriage
  • Earning potential of the spouses
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Age of each spouse
  • Physical capacity of the spouses
  • Mental capacity of the spouses
  • Lifestyle and standard of living during the marriage
  • Financial obligations and debts
  • Retirement benefits
  • Assets, real property, and stock ownership during the marriage
  • Training, skills, and education level of the spouses
  • Alternative sources of income of each spouse

Conditions for Alimony Payments

Alimony payments are generally awarded to the financially dependent spouse. Therefore, the spouse who was earning during the marriage should expect to make alimony payments. However, alimony payments are generally limited to certain periods of time or under certain conditions. The paying spouse may stop making payments when following conditions occur:

  • Remarriage of spouse
  • Children have reached adulthood and are financially independent
  • Death of spouse
  • Disability of the spouse obligated to make payments
  • Retirement of spouse making payments
  • Cohabitation of dependent spouse with another
  • Ability of dependent spouse to be self-supporting

Types of Alimony

Alimony in Gross. This type of payment is usually an amount of financial settlement that is determined on the current value of the financial rights to marital income and property. This type of alimony may not be modified. 

Periodic Alimony. Periodic alimony refers to payments that are made on a regular basis until certain conditions occur, such as remarriage of the spouse. Once the condition occurs, the spouse making payments can request the court to modify the divorce order to terminate further payments.

Rehabilitative Alimony. This is a periodic payment made to the spouse until the spouse can earn enough independently. The court may require payments until the spouse has finished their education, applied for the necessary licenses in their field, or until the spouse has secured employment. 

Alimony payments have certain tax implications for those making and receiving payments. Furthermore, depending on the type of alimony awarded, tax burdens and implications may vary. Alimony payments are case specific, therefore, it is highly recommended to consult an experienced divorce lawyer when undergoing alimony negotiations.

Huntsville Alimony Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Clients with Alimony Issues

Divorce can be an emotionally charged experience. If you have concerns regarding alimony payments, contact the Huntsville alimony lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. We will handle your case with sensitivity and work to minimize the stress and ordeal of working through settlement negotiations. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 256-539-3110 today. Located in Huntsville and Athens, Alabama, we serve clients throughout North Alabama, Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County.

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A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19

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