Getting a divorce is an emotional blow that can leave both parties equally devastated. However, for some the financial blow can be even worse, especially if one party has been out of work for an extended period of time. In order to combat this problem spousal support, also known as alimony is paid for support during this transitional period of time. Although the guidelines used to determine the amount of alimony differs from state to state, there are still some general guidelines that are used.
Alimony’s intention is not to support one spouse for an unlimited time period. Instead there are specific guidelines and rules attached to this payment. Some of the purposes of this support include:.
- When one spouse makes a considerable amount less in terms of income.
- It is intended to ensure that the spouse with lower earnings can meet their basic needs while living the same style of life they are accustomed to.
- If the receiving spouse stayed at home they are expected to eventually find a job, however do not have to do so immediately.
The amount of time that alimony is paid is also dependent on several factors. These factors include:
- Alimony’s main intention is to ease the transition period for individuals who get divorced, especially those receiving a substantially less amount of income.
- There is a rule that is applied to the amount of time that alimony is paid. For marriages that occurred for less than 10 years the higher earning spouse is required to pay for half the time that the marriage lasted. If a couple had a seven year marriage then alimony would be paid for three and half years. However, for any marriages over 10 years the alimony is paid as long as it as needed.
The amount of alimony that is paid is typically based on the income of both parties involved. This calculation varies from state to state, yet is typically around 40 percent of the higher spouse’s earnings. Understanding all of the rules with alimony may seem confusing, however it is essential to provide accurate financial statements to ensure that you receive or are paying a fair amount of alimony.
Alimony was established as a way to reduce the financial burden placed on the lower earning spouse after an incident of divorce. It is not intended to cause a hardship, only ensure that both individuals are able to live comfortable during this transitional period.
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