Divorce and Alimony
By Henry F. Lewis on September 26, 2017
Divorce is a difficult time and can leave those who depend on their spouse for financial support uncertain about their future. Alimony exists to help spouses maintain their standard of living while developing the skills they need to support themselves. Alimony can be a tense subject for divorcing couples, which is why it's important to have a divorce lawyer you can trust.
The divorce lawyers at Gardner & Lewis, LLP are experienced in the nuances of alimony negotiations to protect the interests of their clients. For answers to your questions about divorce and alimony, please contact Oakland, CA divorce lawyers Michael A. Gardner and Henry F. Lewis.
Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is a form of financial support that may be provided after a divorce. Alimony exists to allow those involved in a divorce to continue to live as they were accustomed prior to the divorce.
Alimony also attempts to limit the economic impact a divorce can have on a spouse that may have decided not to pursue a career in order to care for the family, giving such spouses time to develop the job skills needed to support themselves.
With alimony, the person making all or most of the money in a marriage is legally obligated to continue to share his or her income, even after divorce. Though traditionally awarded to women, men may receive alimony, especially in cases where the wife was the primary earner.
How Long Is Alimony Paid?
The length of time alimony must be paid will vary by each marriage. Alimony payments may end when:
- A recipient spouse remarries
- A future date set by a judge is reached
- A judge determines the former spouse receiving alimony has not made a reasonable effort to support his or herself
- Children from the marriage no longer need a parent at home full-time
- One of the former spouses dies
How Is Alimony Determined?
The amount paid, length of time paid, and who will pay alimony can be determined by the divorcing couple or through the courts. While the process for determining alimony varies by state to state, when alimony is determined by the courts, several factors are considered, such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The health and age of each spouse
- Each spouses' financial situation and earning potential
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The ability of the spouse paying alimony to make payments while still supporting him or herself
What If Your Spouse Refuses to Pay Alimony?
In some cases, a spouse who has been ordered by the courts to pay alimony may refuse to make the required payments. When this occurs, the only recourse the recipient spouse has is to return to court to begin a contempt of court proceeding. Through such a proceeding, it may be possible to force a former spouse to make regular alimony payments. An experienced divorce and alimony lawyer can help throughout the alimony process, including contempt proceedings, to ensure those seeking alimony payments receive the financial support they deserve.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Gardner & Lewis, LLP
If you are facing a divorce, the experienced divorce lawyers at Gardner & Lewis, LLP can guide you through this difficult time and protect your interests. Contact our law firm to schedule a consultation.
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“The needs of your family are always at the forefront of our legal services. Whether through litigation or mediation, we believe that reaching a fair, efficient solution with minimal negative impact to your family is of the utmost importance.” Henry F. Lewis