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What should both parties know about alimony in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Firm News |

Delaware couples who are getting divorced may spend a great deal of time focusing on their financial futures. This is true from both perspectives—the spouse who was the primary breadwinner and the lesser-earning spouse.

One aspect of a case that inevitably stokes worry is how much alimony will be paid. The person who is ordered to pay may express fear as to the amount and the duration for which it will be paid. The receiving party may not believe the order is sufficient. In these cases, it is imperative to think about all the needs people might have and to understand how the law handles alimony issues.

Knowing how the court decides on alimony is key from the start

Even before the divorce, the court has the right to order alimony on an interim basis while the case is pending. When the court assesses whether to award alimony, it will want to know if a person is a dependent of the other spouse.

If, for example, one spouse owned a business or went out to work for someone else and the other was a homemaker or parent who relied on the income of the working spouse, they may be categorized as a dependent.

In addition to being dependent, the court will want to know if they have property that can help with them meeting their needs. Many people do not have the skills or training to get a job that pays well enough to support themselves. They might also have custody of a child, which further limits their ability to work.

Regarding amount and duration, the court will strive for fairness. If there was marital misconduct, that is not factored in with the alimony award. It will want to know the financial resources; how much time it might take the receiving party to garner skills to self-support and what the standard of living was while the marriage was intact.

It will also think about how long the couple was married; the age and condition of the parties; if the spouse who did not earn as much contributed to the earning spouse’s education and training to get a job and good income; the paying party’s financial situation; taxes and other factors that are deemed important.

The length of time the couple was married is pivotal in the alimony duration. For those who were married for fewer than 20 years, it will be limited to half the term of the marriage. A marriage of 10 years would warrant five years of alimony. Those with a minimum of 20 years will not be subject to any limits.

Having caring guidance can be vital to reaching a positive outcome with alimony

As people try to navigate the complexities of a divorce, it is important to know they have professional help on their side. This is enhanced with personal attention from those who care intently about the outcome.

These cases can be difficult personally, financially and emotionally. Alimony might take a backseat to bigger concerns like child custody, child support and visitation, but that does not make it any less critical. In a divorce, most aspects of the case are tied together in some way. Having assistance that is focused on the outcome and tries to achieve a positive result is key to a case.