There are a lot of components in the divorce process, such as child custody, living arrangements, and child support. One of the most common issues in divorce proceedings is alimony. It is a phrase that most people have likely heard, but many may not fully understand it. An ex-spouse may wonder if they can file for alimony after the divorce.
It would be easy to think that once a divorce is completed, it is too late to request alimony; however, this is not necessarily the case. It is possible to modify the agreement and request alimony after the case, but this requires exceptional circumstances. In order to fully understand alimony, it is important to review the aspects of divorce.
Common Reasons for Divorce
Divorce affects large numbers of people every year. In fact, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. A marriage can end for a variety of reasons, and regardless of the specifics, it can be stress-inducing and financially difficult. The divorce process can take months or even years. Disputes surrounding the marriage and the resolution of the divorce can extend the proceedings. To simplify the process, it is important to understand the law and to consult a qualified legal expert.
Married couples may choose divorce for financial, emotional, or family issues. Reasons for divorce are specific to each individual situation, but common reasons may include:
Disagreements About Parenting: Raising children can be very difficult. Parents may disagree about how to raise their children. Sometimes, these disagreements can lead to separation.
Marital Infidelity: A common reason for married couples to choose divorce is the issue of infidelity. Cheating is difficult for many people to get over, and married couples may feel that they can only move on separately.
Career Issues: Some couples may separate because of different career paths.
Outside Influences: Sometimes, people outside the marriage, like extended family or other romantic interests, can play a role in pushing people toward divorce.
While there are a variety of reasons for divorce and many factors that can go into it, the specifics surrounding the divorce can influence how the process plays out and what happens after.
What is the Goal of Alimony?
Alimony is a form of spousal support that one former spouse pays to the other after a divorce. Alimony has a long history and has served to protect one spouse from sudden negative changes to their quality of life. After the divorce, a spouse might find difficulty with finances. During the divorce proceedings, spouses have the opportunity to agree on alimony payments. A judge is unlikely to make adjustments to these agreements when entering a final ruling on the divorce.
Alimony is generally determined during the early stages of the divorce process. This determination is based on the finances and contributions of each spouse. In some cases, the two parties will agree on terms at this stage. When there is no agreement, the judge will have to assess the situation based on the facts of the case. In these situations, the court will review each spouse’s financial evidence, such as their ability to pay, earn, and their specific needs. Through this process, the court determines who gets what after the divorce is finalized.
Rehabilitative Alimony Payments
Alimony payments have changed over the years as society has gone through cultural shifts. When women were primarily homemakers and husbands were the earners for the family, long-term alimony payments were fairly common. When the spouses have equal earnings, the court will generally only approve rehabilitative alimony. This means that payments are only for a short period of time, allowing the former spouse to ease into their new life.
Requesting Alimony During the Divorce Proceedings
Alimony is not guaranteed in every divorce case. It is not automatically awarded and requires a request, and ideally, an agreement upfront. To receive alimony, the spouse must either come to an agreement on alimony terms or petition the court to award it after the finalization of the divorce.
Revisiting Alimony After a Divorce
To successfully receive alimony after a divorce, the requesting spouse must show a significant change in circumstances, such as being laid off from work. It is not easy to accomplish this because the requester must show why the court should honor the request. An experienced lawyer can help with this complicated process.
Huntsville Divorce Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Clients Get Alimony After a Divorce
If you wish to seek alimony or make changes to an existing agreement, a knowledgeable Huntsville divorce lawyer at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. can help. Our dedicated legal team understands the complicated nature of divorce and how important it is to have someone by your side. We will ensure that you get the best resolution to your case. Contact us online or call us at 256-539-3110 for an initial consultation. 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.