Divorce can be extremely tough. After the divorce, you still have to deal with your ex-spouse. You may have to pay your spouse alimony. This could create a financial strain on you. You may feel that you are put at a far greater disadvantage than your ex-spouse is. Being in and out of courts is one of the last things you want to be doing. This can be a lengthy process. It’s essential to know how alimony is determined in the first place. You should also know how long you will have to pay alimony as well as important records to keep.
How is Alimony Determined?
In determining alimony, it’s important to know what the courts look at and use as a basis for their decision. Courts make sure to take into account reasonable expenses that both parties have. For example, the judge takes into account the living expenses the parties had as a couple and try to allocate alimony so that the recipient will be able to live in a home that’s consistent with what they had during the marriage. The courts also take into account how much money each person could reasonably earn every month. Courts look at whether the alimony amount will allow the recipient the same “standard of living established during the marriage”. This would be going forward with a lifestyle similar to what the couple had before the divorce.
How long will you have to pay?
Now that you have to make alimony payments it’s important to know when you can stop making those payments. You can stop making payments when your former spouse remarries. In the death of your former spouse or yourself, alimony payments are then terminated. Alimony can have a set end date that the judge determines. This can be several years into the future. Alimony payments can end when the children no longer need a full-time parent at home. If the judge finds that the other spouse hasn’t put forth the effort to be self-supporting, then the judge can cancel alimony payments. Alimony payments can end when there is another significant event that occurs. An example of this would be retirement.
Records to Keep
When you have to pay alimony, it’s important to keep things organized and have everything on record. You should keep the original checks that you used for payment. Make sure they include which month the alimony check is intended for. If you pay your alimony in cash, then be sure to keep receipts for each payment you’ve made. Make sure it’s signed by the recipient proving they received it. You will want to create a list containing each payment you have made with the check number, the date, and the address to which the payment was sent to.
Divorce is not easy. The emotional side is tough as well as the financial side. It’s not getting easier. Now the court has ordered you to pay your former spouse alimony. This can go on for years. Sometimes the court makes a decision that you feel may be unfair. You need someone who will listen to your needs and concerns. You need someone who has experience. Emy A. Cordano has over 20 years of experience in divorce law including alimony. Make an appointment for a legal consultation through this contact form or call for a case review at 801-804-5152.