Your Legal Rights at Work

Alimony And Your Financial Security After Divorce

by Lewis Hamilton

Even though alimony (spousal support) for divorcing couples is not as common as it once might have been, this form of support may still be ordered if a need is shown. Several factors go into the decision to order alimony so read on and find out more.

Showing a Need for Alimony

Often, both spouses in a relationship must work outside the home to make ends meet. If a spouse does remain at home, that party might be at a financial disadvantage when a divorce is in the offing. That inequality is the reason why alimony may be considered. If you are a divorcing spouse and foresee a need for additional financial support, you should be prepared to show reasons why you need it. Some common financial issues afflicting some divorcing spouses include:

  • Parties that worked at dead-end jobs while the other spouse attended college.
  • Spouses who remained home to care for young children, a special needs child, or an ill parent rather than advancing a career. The cost of paying for such care can be prohibitive for many families.
  • Parties that never attended college or had to drop out before a degree was obtained.
  • Parties who are suffering from chronic mental health issues and are unable to work at a job.
  • Spouses afflicted with physical medical disorders and cannot hold jobs.

And more.

Can the Spouse Afford Alimony?

If a spouse is unable to provide for the ex-spouse, alimony is unlikely to be ordered. Divorces generally involve the submission of financial information. This information is used to determine several important divorce decisions.

The submission of this information affects a lot about divorce and it's vital that it be accurate. That can only happen if both parties provide full disclosures. Spouses who may be asked to pay for things like alimony might be tempted to underreport their income and financial holdings. If you suspect that could be the case with your spouse, your divorce lawyer should petition the judge to issue a subpoena. In some cases, a special investigative accountant might be used to comb through a spouse's financial dealings to discover undisclosed assets.

Types of Alimony

Alimony can be temporary during the separation period, and it may also be termed rehabilitative. For instance, rehabilitative alimony might be ordered to allow the spouse to obtain job training or complete a college degree. However, permanent alimony may be ordered for ill or older spouses.

Speak to your family lawyer