Alimony is the amount of money one spouse pays to the other, by court order, for support and maintenance. In recent years, alimony, due to the negative connotations, has been referred to as maintenance or spousal support. Traditionally, alimony was awarded to the wife and paid by the husband. However, during the 1970's and 1980's judges began to award alimony to the husband depending upon the circumstances. Alimony is awarded to either spouse in an effort to maintain the standard of living that both parties were accustomed to during the marriage.
At the time of the divorce if maintenance/alimony is awarded it can be one or a combination of the following:
- Permanent: This type of alimony is to be paid until either the death of the payor or the remarriage of the recipient. The law includes a "cohabitation" clause that states alimony ends when the recipient cohabits with another person in the avoidance of marriage.
- Lump sum: This type of maintenance/alimony is one payment of alimony instead of periodic (usually weekly or monthly) payments. Lump sum maintenance/alimony just like all other maintenance/alimony is taxable to the recipient.
- Temporary: This type of maintenance/alimony lasts for a specific period of time, usually one to two years. This type of maintenance/alimony may be awarded when the persons involved are on almost equal ground but due to certain circumstances, one person may need financial assistance in order to "get on their feet."
- Rehabilitative: This type of alimony is the most commonly awarded maintenance/alimony. It is awarded in a situation where the recipient is younger, or able to eventually enter or return to the work force and become financially self-supporting. Rehabilitative maintenance/alimony may include payments for the education necessary to enable the recipient to become self-supporting.
Many factors are considered in awarding maintenance including: duration of the marriage, earning capacity of both parties, age, as well as physical, mental, and emotional state of each party, other income, contribution by one spouse to education and furtherance of career of the other, contribution of one spouse as a homemaker, and how much earning power will be affected by the parenting requirements of the custodial parent.
Grunyk & Associates, P.C. has the experience and skills to negotiate maintenance/alimony and assist you in planning for your financial future and wellbeing.
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To speak with one of our experienced lawyers about maintenance/alimony and divorce, email our office today.
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