When you and your spouse have significantly different incomes, divorce can be an uncertain time. If you have a lower income than your spouse or have taken time away from the workforce, you may wonder how you can maintain your finances as a single-income household. In these cases, you may be able to request alimony as a part of your divorce.
What is alimony?
In some cases, the courts grant alimony as a part of the divorce process. These ongoing payments are intended to ease the financial impact of a divorce when one spouse will have greater resources after the couple parts ways. Alimony may be short- or long-term depending on a couple’s circumstances.
Will you receive alimony after divorce?
Because each married couple’s financial situation is unique, the court will consider a variety of factors when determining whether you will receive alimony, how much you will receive and how long that support will last. These factors include:
- The duration of your marriage
- Your age and health
- Your spouse’s age and health
- You and your spouse’s resources
- Your spouse’s ability to maintain their own financial health if you receive support
- The contributions that you made to your spouse’s education, training or career during your marriage
- Your current standard of living
- Whether you have sacrificed your career or education to contribute to your household during the family, including time taken away from the workforce to raise children
- The schooling, training or other education needed for you to reenter the workforce or to support yourself
If the court awards alimony, it may not be a permanent arrangement. While longer marriages are not subject to a time limit for alimony, in marriages that lasted less than 20 years, alimony is limited to half the duration of the marriage
If you wonder whether spousal support will be available to you or have concerns about the impact that paying alimony will have on your future financial health, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney.