What is Spousal Support, or Alimony?

Spousal support, traditionally called alimony, refers to transitional funds paid by one party to the other temporarily and after the divorce is final. I will effectively negotiate the amount and duration of this support as a critical component of the divorce agreement. Factors that affect this agreement include: Duration of the marriage, current and past earnings of both parties, the expected time it will take the receiving party to become self-supporting and the needs of the household.

My Approach:

Divorce and separation can result in a drastic reduction in the parties’ respective financial positions. All of a sudden, there are two households that need to be supported instead of one. Prior to meeting with an attorney, I encourage people to review and draft a Financial Declaration. It is a budget listing monthly current and anticipated household expenses, car expenses, food costs, your personal expenses and all monthly payments on debts. The court utilizes this document to determine the household needs of each party and compares it to each individual’s income to determine the need for one party to pay spousal support to the other.

Possible Court Actions:

Spousal support may be awarded through a temporary court order as a way of dealing with the financial hit resulting from a separation. Spousal support may be awarded for a period of time after the divorce is finalized. The issues the court considers when ordering post dissolution support are the length of the marriage, the ages of the parties, the work history of the parties, any disabilities that may affect a party’s ability to work, future income from social security and retirement and the respective need and ability to pay.

The award of spousal support to one party cannot be counted upon. As your attorney, it is my obligation to provide the court with all the evidence and documentation necessary to either award or deny maintenance.