am i entitled to alimony common questions about spousal support

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Am I Entitled to Alimony? Common Questions About Spousal Support

Alimony is a monetary payment to a divorced spouse based on the actual assets and liabilities the couple acquired while being married. Traditionally, women have been the recipient of most alimonies ordered in a divorce decree, but that balance has changed in recent decades because of the common contemporary household structure of two-income families. In marriages where the sole provider is still the husband the traditional legal norm continues. It is important to understand what conditions may affect this common court determination.

am i entitled to alimony common questions about spousal supportWhat Are The Requirements For Receiving Spousal Support?

According to, the primary requirement for alimony is that the couple has filed for a divorce or living separate and apart. Married couples that are divorcing and continuing to live in same dwelling may not be acceptable to the court. This situation is not as rare as it may seem. The spousal support is usually decreed because of hardships endured during and after the divorce is pending, along with possible assets that the couple owns collectively. There are also two other requirements to spousal support. Those requirements are the need of the financially lesser of the couple and the children, along with the possible existence of a pre-nuptial agreement.

How Does Contract Law Affect a Divorce?

State governments understand a marriage license as a contract between two individuals to live together legally and have traditionally legitimate children. Contemporary society views the requirement differently, but the legal system does not necessarily. Marriage is a legal and binding contract between two willful partners and marriages are normally dissolved in a business-like manner. Pre-nuptial agreements are also admissible as evidence in a divorce proceeding and these agreements are often difficult to have dismissed as legal and binding.

IS Fault a Determining Factor?

The short answer to this question is rarely. Fault for the divorce is normally not included any longer because the stated basis for the divorce can be a result of the true underlying cause. No-fault divorces are much more common modernly because of time and stress on all involved parties, including children. It is important to understand that child support and alimony, or maintenance, are not the same thing. The right to alimony can be waived with no bearing on a child support determination.

What Is The Difference In Temporary And Rehabilitative Alimony?

“Temporary alimony is often awarded by the judge at the initial court appearance and is in force normally until the final divorce decree. This is for financial need resulting from the broken living arrangements and assessed by the household budget. Rehabilitative alimony is assigned in the final decree and is often awarded for a set period of time. It can be altered by the particular length of a marriage and reasonable standard of living during the marriage. Alimony in long-term marriages is normally considerably higher than short-term and is often dependent on the employment and earnings status of both individuals. Structure of the household with regards to caring for children is also a consideration.”

One of the most important considerations when filing for a divorce is to set emotions aside, though it is easier said than done. The court is primarily concerned with the rights of children in any divorce proceeding and normally disdains unreasonable claims by either divorcing party. If the primary adults cannot act like adults, the court will treat all parties involved as though they were children. Always think the action through beforehand and contact an experienced divorce attorney if legal direction is needed.

Author’s Bio: Ebele Okocha is a freelance writer covering lifestyle and legal issues. She is also a contributing author for the Katz & Phillips law firm based in Orlando Florida. Visit to see how they are dedicated to providing its clientele with expert legal counsel, and the best professional and personal service during every step of the divorce.

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