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How Is Alimony Decided During A Divorce?

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Alimony or “spousal maintenance” is a specific amount of money paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce or legal separation. It is awarded with the intention to equitably distribute the couple’s finances and considers whether a spouse needs financial support and if the other spouse has the capacity to pay. 

A Divorce lawyer in Houston can help you determine the fair amount of alimony you are entitled to pay or receive. They analyze your situation and understand your concerns regarding the state of your financial future after the divorce. 

When is alimony not considered?

  • A marriage that lasted less than three to two years. 
  • Neither spouse is unemployed and dependent on the other. 

What are some factors that affect alimony?

Alimony can be awarded temporarily or permanently in the form of a one-time payment, transfer of property, or monthly payments. 

  • Length of the marriage. 
  • Each spouse’s age, health, and ability to work.
  • The standard of living maintained by the couple during their marriage. 
  • Division of assets during the divorce along with their individual assets and liabilities. 
  • Their approximate income and expenses. 
  • The sacrifices made by a spouse to support the other’s career. 

Can the terms of the alimony be modified?

In the case of monthly payments, the terms can be changed in the event of a major life change in either spouse’s lifestyle. Some common changes include the death of a spouse, retirement of the paying spouse, remarriage, or a new job that enables the supported spouse to be self-sufficient. 

How can you determine alimony?

  • Mediation. 

You do not need to go through a court procedure to determine a fair alimony value with your spouse. Mediation is a procedure in which the spouses engage in a cooperative discussion with a skilled mediator to negotiate the amount and duration of alimony. It is advised to seek a lawyer’s expertise to ensure the security of your finances after the divorce. 

  • Court trial. 

If you are unable to resolve the disagreements with your spouse regarding spousal support, a court trial may be in your best interest to ensure fairness. Depending on the divorce laws of the state and your lawyer’s representation, the judge issues an alimony order that does not financially burden either spouse in the future. 

The presence of an experienced lawyer is essential for you to attain a favorable outcome of your divorce case. In addition to alimony, they can aid you with issues such as child support, child custody, and the distribution of assets.