What Are The Conditions Related To Spousal Support Post-Divorce?
Alimony (spousal support) is the legal obligation of one person to financially support his or her spouse before or after marital separation or after filing for a divorce. The state family laws will affect the conditions of payment of alimony or spousal support in the United States. Initially, it was always the man who would have to financially support the woman post the divorce but nowadays the U.S. state family courts assess the financial position of both parties before deciding who will pay whom alimony.
Factors affecting alimony in the U.S.
In the United States, each state varies from the other when it comes to alimony payments. Some states rely solely on the judge’s decision on which spouse will have to pay alimony, the amount payable and how often. Some states award alimony only if the couple was married for 10 years or more and limits the payment of alimony to just 3 years unless there are extenuating circumstances.
In Kansas, alimony will not be payable after 121 months. In Utah, the length of time for paying alimony will not exceed the length of the marriage. In Delaware, alimony will not be awarded to either partner if the marriage term was less than 10 years. In New York, whichever partner has the higher number of educational degrees will be expected to pay alimony to the other as they are expected to earn more income because of their higher education as degrees are considered to be a form of marital property. Sometimes the judges in family courts utilize the expert advice of financial experts and labor economists to help decide who should pay alimony to whom as well as the amount and duration of alimony payment.
Types of Alimony
In general, there are four types of alimony that apply to all states in the US. They are –
- Temporary alimony – also known as ‘pendent lite support’ as it refers to the alimony payable by one partner to the other while the divorce suit is still pending, prior to getting the actual divorce.
- Permanent alimony – money payable by the partner earning more income to the financially weaker partner till the death of either partner or remarriage of the payee.
- Rehabilitative alimony – alimony payable to the lesser earning spouse till he or she can find a well-paying job and become financially stable.
- Reimbursement alimony – alimony paid to one spouse for expenses incurred by him or her during the marriage
The main factors or conditions that affect payment of alimony in the U.S.
- Length of the marriage
- Length of separation while still married but before getting divorced
- Age and health of both parties at the time of divorce
- Current income and future income earning capacities of both partners
- Reason for divorce or breakdown of the marriage (fault vs. no fault divorce states)
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. To learn more about California divorce and the laws specific to California alimony, download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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