Attorneys often take pride in knowing that they handle each and every divorce with professionalism and tact. They understand the stress that divorce can have on a family and will do whatever they can to take that stress and burden off your shoulders. Deciding on alimony is one element of divorce that can cause significant frustration. Many couples hope to handle their divorce through mediation but find these discussions to be too emotional and difficult to agree upon. Very often, these dialogues just cause more tension in an already tenuous relationship. A lawyer, like a family lawyer from The Law Office of Jason Wright, will handle all of the uncomfortable discussions and negotiations with your spouse and his or her attorney. Additionally, in preparing you for the divorce process, an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the specifics of alimony including any modifications at a later time.
Some commonly asked questions are highlighted below:
How is the amount of monthly alimony decided?
While there is no concrete formula, family law courts will consider the following information in determining the amount:
- State laws and regulations regarding alimony.
- Monthly income of both parties.
- Monthly household expenses.
- Number of children and their ages.
How long does one have to pay alimony?
That really depends on the state that your divorce is processed in and the financial status of you and your ex-spouse. Historically, the judge will look at how long you were married and the annual salary or income for each person. In some states, alimony is only paid until the receiving spouse remarries, while other states designate a specific period of time. When final, your divorce decree should include the parameters of the alimony agreement, including the termination date.
How does alimony affect child support payments?
Alimony and child support are separate financial responsibilities in the eyes of the court. Alimony is intended to help the spouse who took care of the home or stayed home with the children and did not work during the marriage, get back on his or her feet after divorce. Child support is in place so that the children are cared for and continue to experience the same lifestyle that they experienced during the marriage. While alimony supports the financial well-being of the receiving spouse, child support ensures the health and well-being of the children specifically.
What if I can’t pay the amount I owe in alimony?
If you find yourself in financial trouble and cannot come up with the amount that you owe, it is best to pay what you can. Many judges are sympathetic if they see that you are still putting an effort forward despite financial difficulties. However, that is not an ideal resolution. If you find yourself unable to pay the amount in your agreement, it is recommended you contact an attorney. A good lawyer can guide you through the process of alimony modification.
It is true that the divorce rate seems to be increasing every year. However, that does not mean it is easier or smoother for the individuals who are going through the process. In hiring an attorney, you will likely be reducing your own stress by allowing a professional to negotiate the best terms for you. You can rest easy when you have an attorney with experience in divorce proceedings, specifically alimony, to provide you with legal support. Contact an attorney today to set up a consultation.