Money talks: Will you receive or pay alimony after divorce?

It is no secret to Florida readers that divorce brings about significant financial changes. Both parties are naturally concerned with their financial well-being after their marriage is over, and one of the most common sources of money-related disputes pertains to alimony.

Alimony also goes by the name of spousal maintenance or spousal support, and it is not a one-size-fits-all issue. The amount, frequency and duration of spousal support payments depends largely on the details of the financial circumstances of the two divorcing parties. Whether you will have to pay or you hope you will receive this type of support, knowing more about how it works can help you protect your interests.

Who's going to pay?

If a court awards alimony, they will grant it to the lesser earning spouse. Generally, the paying spouse will only have to pay for a certain amount of time, usually long enough to allow the other spouse to reenter the workforce, go to school or to provide financial stability until he or she remarries.

The details of a spousal support arrangement depend on the individual situation. There are many factors that can determine the amount of the payments and how long they may last. These circumstances can include the following factors:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Age, mental condition and emotional condition of both spouses
  • Whether one spouse stopped working to raise children
  • The income levels of both spouses
  • Future earning potential of both parties
  • Standard of living throughout the marriage
  • Financial capabilities of paying spouse

In many cases, alimony is temporary, but there are situations in which a court may feel that it is appropriate to award a spouse with permanent alimony. It can also be important to remember that alimony is separate from child support, and in your unique situation, it may be beneficial to work out a lump-sum payment instead of regular payments over time.

Your post-divorce financial stability

Whether you believe you may have to pay alimony or you think that you may have a rightful claim to spousal support for a period of time after your divorce, you would be wise to know your rights and options.

Post-divorce financial security is likely one of your main concerns during your divorce. Approaching the issue of alimony is never easy, but you may find it prudent to seek benefits as you work through this sensitive issue and other complex divorce-related matters. A thoughtful, well-prepared approach is key to your post-divorce financial stability.

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