One of the most talked about components of divorce is alimony. A lot of couples have uncertainty regarding whether they have to pay alimony and what it means if they are ordered to pay spousal support. Will you have to pay spousal support? Here is what you need to know.
Alimony Isn’t Forever
When ordered to pay alimony, you might worry about how you are going to pay it for the rest of your life. You may even feel disheartened by the idea that you have to support your spouse for a long period of time. The truth is that you do not have to pay forever. It is not permanent.
There are two types of alimony. There is long term and limited long term. Generally, you pay for a pre-determined amount of time and your spouse will eventually have to become self-supporting. In some cases, you may even be allowed to pay a lump sum.
Anyone Can Receive Spousal Support
There is a common myth that only women receive spousal support. This is not the case. Anyone in the relationship could receive spousal support. Often, it is the spouse who has the higher income that may have to pay alimony. This is not a strict rule, however. There are several factors that judges consider when deciding alimony payments.
Judges Decide Alimony Based on Several Factors
The person who decides whether you have to pay alimony is the judge. He or she will look into a number of different factors and the amount you have to pay as well as whether you have to pay at all will be determined by several different factors.
These factors include your income, your spouse’s income and your spouse’s education and job skills. If your spouse is educated and is employable, then the judge will consider this. Likewise, the judge considers your spouse’s lifestyle, assets and why you are divorcing to begin with. Judges will also consider the length of the marriage. For those who were married longer, alimony or spousal support is more common.
If you are in the middle of a divorce and are worried about alimony payments, it is important to speak to a lawyer. He or she can help advise you on what your options are regarding the divorce and can help you negotiate when it comes to spousal support.