One term that you need to understand when going through a divorce is alimony. Alimony or spousal support refers to payments that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. A person may make payments or he or she can pay in one lump sum. How do you know if you will have to pay alimony?
You Contributed More to the Household Income
Typically, the person who has to pay alimony is the breadwinner. This is the person who contributed more money to the marriage. If you were the one who made most of the money, you may have to pay spousal support. Generally, this is enough to support your spouse while he or she can support him or herself. This may be until your spouse finishes coursework or finds employment.
You Had a Long-Term Marriage
Most judges will not order alimony if the couple had a short-term marriage. Short-term marriages are generally four years and under. If you had a long-term marriage, however, then you are more likely to be ordered to pay spousal support. This is especially true if there is a difference in incomes between the two of you separately. The longer that you support your spouse, the more likely you are to have to pay.
Your Spouse Stayed Home with the Kids
In some marriages, one parent stays home with the kids. For instance, one parent may put aside his or her career goals to stay with the child. If you divorce, then that person’s career goals were put on hold. This can make it difficult for him or her to make a stable income. In this instance, you may have to pay alimony and child support to your spouse. Keep in mind that spousal support is not forever, it is only temporary.
Alimony or spousal support is supposed to provide one spouse with the means to support him or herself after a divorce. This is usually not permanent. The only instances where spousal support may be permanent is when you are dealing with a long-term marriage that ends when the couple is older. In these cases, there may not be career prospects for one spouse. If you are going through a divorce, it is possible that you may have to pay alimony. To find out more about spousal support and what your obligation may be, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.