The divorce process is a stressful and frustrating time in a person’s life. While it does not alleviate any of the pain of divorce, knowing the process and understanding what may happen ahead of time can save a lot of anguish down the road, especially when it comes to the area of alimony and asset division.
Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is the legal obligation that’s imposed on one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse after a divorce. Courts oversee the question of alimony and determine if alimony is ordered, and if so, how much is paid.
The court can mandate permanent alimony payments, or set them for a specific period, known as durational alimony. Alimony may also be required to pay for a specific purpose, such as training or educational expenses. A judge may also order alimony for a temporary period of time, such as payments through the divorce process, ending once the divorce is finalized.
The second factor that comes into play is how much the party will be ordered to pay. The judge may generally consider the standard of living established throughout the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the financial and physical conditions of the party, and how much earning capacity each party has. The court also considers the contributions each party made during the marriage. Once the judge has reviewed these factors, a payment amount is set. This amount may be modified when one party petitions the court for a modification order.
Reasons Why You May Be Entitled to Alimony After Your Divorce
While you may not think you’re entitled to alimony, each case is different and certain circumstances warrant the award of alimony. Here are some reasons that you may be entitled to alimony after your divorce.
- Did you quit college to support your spouse’s college or career? Was it more important that you work to help the other one get a good paying job to eventually support you?
- Did you skip college because you made the decision that you wouldn’t need to work once you had children so you didn’t want to waste the time or money going to college? Now, do you feel inadequate when trying to support yourself without a college degree?
- Have you missed enough work that you won’t be able to return to the same career without starting over? Some careers change so quickly that there is no way to leave and come back in a few years.
- Did you quit your career to raise your children? Many mothers (and fathers) have trouble re-entering the workforce after raising children (especially if they are still young). Some employers are not willing to hire parents of young children who have missed several years of work.
Contact an experienced alimony attorney in Phoenix, AZ for more information on how you may be entitled to receive alimony.