Traditionally, alimony is thought of as payment made by an ex-husband to an ex-wife following a divorce. Its intention was, and is, to provide financial assistance and to insure wellbeing. What do you need to know about alimony today?
What is alimony?
Alimony is a court-mandated payment succeeding a divorce to help mitigate any economic consequences induced by said divorce. It is a completely separate entity from asset division and child support, but is often times determined by the court at the same time as the aforementioned decisions. There are several different types:
- Temporary alimony is support granted during the waiting period, or the time after separation but prior to legalization of divorce.
- Rehabilitative alimony enables the recipient time to acquire a job and maintain financial independence.
- Permanent alimony represents financial support that remains in place until the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient or it can be provided for in a lump sum.
Often times, the reception of alimony depends on the family circumstances prior to the divorce. For example, if a family decides that the wife will stay at home to raise the children, then a divorce occurs 15 years later, that woman’s earning potential might be less than if she had remained employed, a result solely due to time out of the work force. In this situation, the man may be responsible for payments to help supplement the wife’s income.
What determines the amount paid?
The payments are a tricky and emotional subject. It is rarely completely objective and the judge will consider many factors when determining alimony payments. Some factors are:
- Sacrifices for the family
- Contributions to the family
- Needs following the divorce
- Financial condition of both parties
- Standard of living
- Length of marriage
Alimony is not static
Alimony is often times temporary, with the intent to be short-term assistance. The judge will often take into account how long it might take for the recipient to obtain a suitable job, or to acquire the education necessary to be employed.
The court also reserves the right to adjust the amount paid due to various financial hardships. These include but are not limited to: illness, unemployment and disability. The reverse is also possible; once a recipient demonstrates financial stability, he or she may no longer be eligible to receive the payments in certain situations. Alimony payments naturally end when either party passes away, or when the individual receiving alimony payments remarries.
As with most decisions surrounding divorce, each state has its own set of guidelines. Our alimony attorneys are well versed in the specifics of South Carolina divorce law, and will help you navigate through the murky waters of alimony payments. There are many other things to consider surrounding your divorce, including the tax implication of alimony, and other forms of provision like child support. Make sure to consult the alimony lawyers of Klok Family Law to help you manage these important life decisions. Whether your a mom or dad facing divorce, Klok Family Law will take care of you.