Posted on: 8 November 2016
Alimony, also known as spousal support, may have fallen from popularity in the past few years, but it is far from dead. For those who need it, alimony represents a way of ensuring that both divorcing spouses suffer less of a financial impact. It's important that a distinction be made between alimony and child support. Child support exists in a special category of its own and is considered separately with no connection or impact on the spousal support issue. To help you understand more about alimony and why it continues to be used, read on.
The purpose of alimony.
The main idea behind the need for these court-ordered financial payments to a divorcing spouse was originally to even up the scale. Spouses who stayed home to care for the children, which in the past was traditionally women, had fewer financial resources to deal with the aftermath of divorce. Less education and less work outside of the home made it far more difficult for women to make it financially, when suddenly faced with being single.
Surprisingly, that original motivation for creating alimony still exists today. While it's undoubtedly true that more women work outside the home than anytime in history, there is still a need to ensure that those who do decide to forgo their education and careers to be stay-at-homes parents don't suffer financially after a divorce. It should be noted that men are just as eligible as women to receive alimony when divorcing, with the determination being based on income.
The extent of alimony.
While alimony is still very much in use, the length of time for benefiting from it has decreased. Nowadays, alimony is often referred to as rehabilitative alimony and is meant to be of a temporary time period. If the spouse is young and healthy enough, rehabilitative support allows them the time and resources to return to school or take job training, with the ultimate goal of being self-supporting in time.
On the other hand, older spouses or spouses who are sick can be given permanent alimony. In fact, the alimony can be so permanent that it can extend until after the paying ex-spouse has passed away. If so ordered (or desired), an accommodation to continue support may be addressed in the will.
Put the provision in place.
It's important to carefully consider an alimony provision be placed in your divorce decree. Even a token amount allows the decree to be reopened and altered if the future, but leaving the provision out altogether can present a far greater challenge to those who suddenly regret leaving it out.
To learn more about alimony, speak with a divorce attorney from a law firm like Craig H. Lane, PC.Share