Will You Owe or Receive Alimony or Spousal Support?
Melinda Previtera is a family law attorney at Philadelphia-based Petrelli Privitera, LLC
A significant issue to consider in your divorce is spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony or maintenance. You may be wondering if you will have to pay alimony to your soon to be ex or if you may be owed alimony. A divorce lawyer can review your financial and life circumstances to determine if you might owe or could receive spousal support in your divorce. If you might owe that type of support, your attorney can ensure that you do not pay more than is fair. If you are due to receive alimony, your attorney can work to get you the amount that you deserve.
Not every spouse is owed alimony when their marriage ends. Family courts only award spousal support when a spouse is not able to meet their financial needs without the support of the other spouse who can afford to provide the support, whether they want to or not. Sometimes alimony is only awarded on a temporary basis. For example, if the receiving spouse needs time to update their resume and get a job, finish their education, or finish raising the children.
Both men and women are eligible to receive alimony, depending on the circumstances of the marriage and the parties involved. If you cannot reach an agreement about spousal support with your spouse, it will be up to the family court judge to determine if one spouse deserves alimony and in what amount. Whether or not a spouse receives maintenance can depend on the following factors:
· The ability of the spouse to support themselves
· The time necessary for the spouse to get a job or get training so the spouse can get a job
· The standard of living established during the marriage;
· How long the couple has been married
· What caused the couple to separate
· The age of each spouse
· The physical and mental condition of each spouse
· The ability of the spouse paying alimony to support him or herself while making spousal support payments
· The financial needs, obligations, and resources of each spouse, such as income, income from assets, potential income, previous awards of child support, rights of each party to receive retirement benefits, and taxability or non-taxability of income
Instead of wondering whether or not you may owe or receive spousal support during or after your pending divorce, speak to a divorce attorney. After reviewing your circumstances, a lawyer can help you determine what may or may not be fair when it comes to the financial support of one spouse.