When a marriage goes sour, it can give people a lot of anxiety thinking about the divorce process. However, the more one knows about the divorce process, the better they can prepare themselves and their family for the change. One subject that can cause a lot of stress is spousal support.
Spousal support, or alimony, is awarded in some situations when two people divorce. Alimony is a court-ordered sum that one ex-spouse makes to the other. The payments are often assigned when there is a large income gap between the partners and one spouse made educational or career advancements in lieu of the other spouse.
Alimony is meant to lessen the gap of income earning potential when a spouse has made contributions in the marriage that did not include personal advancements like education and career advancements. It helps to manage for the standard of living one is accustomed to living. Spousal support can be awarded in the short or long-term and the amounts vary greatly based on specific factors. Not all divorce decrees will include a clause for alimony and every case presents its own unique factors.
The best way to discover if you or a spouse may be the payer or recipient of alimony is to dig into financial statements, take a look at the marriage and personal achievements and compare each other's financial situation. Beyond that, talking with a professional is always an option. Just like anything else, alimony amounts can be negotiated during the divorce process, if one wishes.
Source: family.findlaw.com, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed April 24, 2017