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When you separate from your spouse and end up seeking legal redress in court, the court may consider awarding spousal support or alimony to either of the spouses. In some instances, the couples are left to reach the decision by themselves.This detailed guide will explore key aspects on alimony after divorce to help you have a better understanding.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is the maintenance paid by either party after a divorce as a way of cushioning them from the unfair economic effects of a divorce. The end goal is to help the spouse maintain the standard of living they had when married despite any changes in tax returns, income tax, and bonuses.
Why Switch the “Alimony” Word
When it comes to maintenance payments between ex-spouse’s, alimony remains the commonly used term. This doesn’t mean that “spousal support” isn’t that popular. Some states such as California are using” spousal support” as a non-confrontational language and this is being implemented in other states well.
Compared to how alimony after divorce is viewed in California, spousal support is a positive term with less negative connotations. The changes in language during court proceedings became important thanks to the changes in divorce laws in the United States.
For instance, the implementation of the no-fault divorce law in 1970 changed the way divorce cases are handled in court. Under this law, the filling spouse doesn’t have to prove that the separation was due to the other spouse’s fault. This is why competent lawyers for alimony post-divorce are handy.
That being said, as long as the reason for the termination of the marriage is within the state laws, it is more than enough reason to ask for an alimony.
The Popular Beliefs Surrounding Alimony
The popular belief around alimony payment still stands. There are more men paying for alimony than women. The population and housing census in 2010 indicated that 3% of the 400,000 recipients of alimony were men. This is a 0.5% increase compared to the 2000 figure.
While 3% of the alimony recipients are men, about 40% of today’s households have a female breadwinner. This goes to show the role that cultural attitude and anecdotal evidence play. Judges are also less likely going to award alimony to a man. Still, few men are willing to ask for it.
For men who believe that they may end up being short changed due to this cultural attitude it’s best that they find a competent lawyer for financial assistance after divorce.
Gender isn’t the only aspect changing
A divorce is followed by two post dissolution payments; spousal support and child support. In the 1960s, only 25% of the cases required the need for alimony payment. Today, these figures average at 10%. In fact, the need for permanent alimony creates heated debate in court, and can be a disadvantage for those who aren’t represented by a competent alimony attorney.
This is because spouses are required to send their ex-spouses checks until their death. Some states such as Texas, Massachusetts, and Kansas do not accept the California alimony interpretation. In the cases of spousal support, legal professionals can help the case to the extent where the cash can be used to assist a low-income earning spouse get on track.
Do you need to pay spousal maintenance?
Divorce is a difficult time of your life. As the legal terms of one’s marriage comes to an and, it isn’t uncommon for divorcee’s to not want to pay for spousal support for their ex-spouse.That’s why you should consider the services of a reputable alimony attorney in Los Angeles who can help you get better insights about the process. Alimony and child custody are a highly contested issue in the court of law.
The payment of Spousal Support
The court decides who’s going to pay the spousal support depending on the nature of your case. If one of the spouses owns a significant amount of money or property, the court can grant the paying spouse to provide the lump sum payment or part of the property to the other party.
The lump sum payments are a great option because they eliminate the need for constant ongoing payments with the possibility of the recipient asking for more support. This is also a win for the recipient because it eliminates the worry of the other party failing to pay in future.
In most cases, courts order periodic payments which are billed monthly. This way, the paying spouse employer will have to deduct a certain amount from the employee’s paycheck. Income withholding is a great strategy unless the spouse changes jobs or voluntarily tries to avoid payments.
What Happens If the Ex-Spouse Is Abusive?
When it comes to divorce statues states are either fault or no fault. However, a state like California which is a no-fault divorce state, it’s not required of the spouse to prove that the other party is abusive to dissolve the marriage. Couples can cite different reasons for the separation for example “irreconcilable affairs.”
This concept can however change drastically if domestic violence is involved. Some of the signs of abuse include micromanaging finances, providing strict “allowance,” preventing a partner from earning money. While some courts may consider may factor in domestic violence as a cause of spousal maintenance, it has a significant impact on child support.
If the case is heard in a family court, a family law attorney in Los Angeles can help you get an order of protection. This doesn’t just settle the custody battles but it also offers child support. In some cases, the order may require the abuser to pay medical expenses in case of injuries as well as housing costs.
Types of Spousal Support
The type of alimony or spousal support one receives depends on the alimony laws on the state you’re currently residing. Here are the main kids you should know.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support/Alimony
This is the kind of alimony given to a spouse for a certain period of time and is designed to help the low earning spouse become self-sufficient. It can be used to get job training, education or other means a spouse can cater for his or her needs. The payment of this alimony can either be determined by the court or discussed by the partners.
Permanent Spousal Support/Alimony
A lesser earning spouse benefits from this type of alimony which is paid indefinitely. It could be until the spouses pass away or decide to remarry. There are different reasons that may require a judge to demand this alimony to be paid.
One of the reasons could be that the recipient ended up becoming a stay at home mum or decided to raise children and has no experience. The other valid reason is that the recipient in handicap.