Alimony Lawyers in Hanover Helping Clients Understand Their Options
Alimony was created to allow the spouse making lesser income (and in some cases, no income) to remain financially stable during and after a divorce. Also called spousal support, its title speaks to allowing support to be provided, even with the changes that occur during a divorce. Separate homes, possible changes to employment, or possible changes in the needs of the children also can arise during the subject of divorce. Alimony is meant to ease this transition by allowing both spouses to continue their quality of life as it was during the marriage. Alimony isn’t always awarded, as each situation is different and presents unique circumstances for the courts to consider.
The experienced team at O’Connor Family Law is ready to assist you in your family law needs. Contact us at 774-214-2137 to find out more about alimony and how it relates to your specific case.
How is Alimony Calculated?
Several factors go into the calculation of alimony and whether or not it is awarded. These factors include the ages of the spouses, their health, what their lifestyle was during their marriage, the length of the marriage, the gross income of each party involved, their employment history, and more. There may be other factors that the courts will take into consideration that are unique to your situation, and it can help you tremendously to have an experienced attorney gather that information for you and present it to the courts.
What Are the Different Types of Alimony?
Alimony can be awarded to either spouse, based on the calculations listed above, for reasons fitting into one of these four categories.
Reimbursement Alimony is based on one spouse reimbursing the other for funds that were spent during the marriage to further education, to obtain further job training, or to support them when they were unable to work. This can be set up as a one-time payment or as periodic payments.
Transitional Alimony is set up to support an ex-spouse for a set period of time to allow for them to get back on their feet or help them in their transition (change of location, change in lifestyle) as a result of their divorce. This can also be set up as one-time or periodic payments.
Rehabilitative Alimony is set up to support an ex-spouse for a determined period of time with the expectation that the ex-spouse is capable of supporting themselves in the future.
General-term Alimony is the most common form of alimony and is set up to help an ex-spouse maintain their financial stability when they relied on their spouse’s income that is no longer in the household. It is set up over a period of time and based largely on the length of time of the marriage itself. See below for a more specific explanation as to how the length of time for payments is decided.
For marriages lasting five or fewer years, the ex-spouse can’t receive alimony for a period greater than 50% of the number of months that they were married. For example, if you were married for 48 months, you can’t request alimony payments for more than 24 months.
For marriages that last longer than 5 years but less than 10 years, the ex-spouse can’t receive alimony for a period greater than 60% of the number of months they were married.
For marriages that last longer than 10 years but less than 15 years, the ex-spouse can’t receive alimony for a period greater than 70% of the number of months they were married.
For marriages that last longer than 15 years but less than 20 years, the ex-spouse can’t receive alimony for a period greater than 80% of the number of months they were married.
For marriages that last longer than 20 years, however, the judge generally will use discretion in the length of time that payments are expected.
Upon the death of either spouse or if the ex-spouse receiving the payments remarries, alimony payments stop. Also, if the spouse paying the alimony reaches “full retirement age,” the payments stop. There are sometimes exceptions to the length of time that payments can be received, and by working with a family law attorney, you can file a Complaint for Modification if good reason exists for an extension, but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee an extension in payments or support.
Courts can also modify the term or amount of payments awarded if there is good reason to do so. Some of these reasons may be that the paying spouse has significant changes in their health, or the receiving spouse has significant changes resulting in more costly medical care. Deviations by the courts may be made in the terms or amounts based on extenuating circumstances, such as the receiving spouse needs more support due to suffering prior abuse by the payor, and as a result, their medical expenses are more than what is deemed customary.
Why Would I Want To Hire an Attorney?
Calculating alimony is complex, and sometimes costly mistakes are made in the process. If there is not an existing Marital Agreement in place (a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement) going into a divorce, allowing for a general guideline to be followed, there are several variables at hand and having someone with experience by your side to help you sort them out is incredibly beneficial to you. Hiring a trusted team to ensure you are getting to the facts and protecting your livelihood in a timely fashion are among many reasons to hire a trusted professional. The experienced alimony attorneys at O’Connor Family Law are standing by at 774-214-2137 to help with your specific situation. Contact us today to go over your specific questions and let us begin the process of helping you answer them and move forward.