The divorce process is difficult, stressful, and emotional. Even if your divorce is amicable, you have a lot of legal issues to navigate. Even a good divorce lawyer can’t solve all of your problems.

Amongst all of the legal work between you and your spouse, figuring out alimony payments is often the most difficult. It can cause tension and the process is confusing. 

Whether you’re on the receiving end or the giving end, we want to help explain divorce alimony payments so you can prepare. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Alimony? 

Alimony

Many people confuse or conflate alimony payments with child support payments, but this isn’t accurate. While child support payments are almost always in play, alimony is less common. 

Alimony payments go from one spouse to the other rather than from one spouse to the child.

In some marriages, one spouse makes much more money than the other. Sometimes the other spouse doesn’t make any money at all. For example, if one person stays home with the children while the other works, the stay-at-home parent doesn’t have income.

Alimony makes it so the spouse without an income isn’t punished by the divorce. While they should get back into the workforce, it’s often difficult to find jobs right away, so alimony helps.

This might seem unfair, but it’s to protect the other spouse. It also helps prevent people from trapping their spouses through financial abuse. 

Negotiating: How Much Is Alimony? 

Alimony payments vary depending on the situation. Your lawyers will help you when you’re negotiating alimony so both partners end up with something that they can feel satisfied with. 

The court wants both spouses to be able to support themselves. Alimony payments won’t be more than what the paying spouse can live on. 

The court will consider the couple’s standard of living pre-divorce, how long the couple has been married, and the difference in income. They’ll also consider the employability of the receiving spouse.

When do Alimony Payments Stop? 

Alimony payments shouldn’t last forever. The court wants the receiving spouse to be able to enter the workforce and support themself. After the spouse gets a job and has enough money to stop receiving alimony while still being comfortable, alimony payments can stop. 

Sometimes there are time limits, though these can be flexible depending on how long it takes for the receiving spouse to get back on their feet.

If the paying spouse loses their income or the receiving spouse gets remarried, alimony payments may stop early.

Are You Paying or Receiving Alimony? 

Your divorce lawyers can help you determine how to negotiate alimony payments so the process is fair for both spouses. Alimony isn’t a punishment. It’s a way to make sure that both spouses are able to stay alive after the divorce.

Remember, while it might annoy you to pay alimony, you were satisfied with your spouse’s choice to work less or stay at home while you were married. If you benefited from this situation, they deserve the financial help.

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