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5 Questions Answered Regarding Alimony and Spousal Support

5 Questions About Alimony and Spousal Support | Jeffrey M. Bloom, West New York

If you are contemplating divorce or beginning the process, spousal support is likely to become an issue. It’s best to have a qualified, experienced family law attorney to guide you through this complicated and emotionally draining experience. Here are the top 5 questions about alimony and support we should address.

1. Do All Divorces Involve Spousal Support / Alimony?

No, this is a common misconception. Only about ten to fifteen percent of all divorces or separations have any sort of spousal support as part of the final divorce judgment or decree. You may think most do involve spousal support since those divorces that do involve spousal support are typically litigated. Since they are litigated (decided in a courtroom), it is not uncommon for them to be in the news, especially when celebrities are dissolving their marriages.

2.    Are There Any Requirements For Spousal Support Or Alimony?

The first requirement is you must be getting a divorce or living separate and apart. If there is no divorce or separation, you cannot be ordered to pay, nor can you receive spousal support.

There are two additional requirements for spousal support, which are based on contract and need. At one time, there was a third requirement; that of fault. For example, adultery would have been considered a fault.

3.    For Spousal Support Or Alimony To Be Awarded, Is There A Requirement Of Need?

This requirement is found in the statutes of some states, which hold that spousal support can only be given if the recipient can demonstrate some financial need for it. The requirement translates as: the recipient must not be able to provide his or her financial support and can not have enough property/assets to meet his or her needs. (As a reminder, needs and desires are not to be confused).

4.   Does “ Permanent Alimony” Still Exist?

Yes, permanent alimony can still be awarded. There is nothing stopping a couple from negotiating and agreeing to an award of permanent alimony. Outside of this situation, permanent alimony is rarely awarded. The same factors controlling an award of long-term, rehabilitative maintenance applies to permanent alimony: the recipient ex-spouse must have no realistic chance of employment, and the marriage must have been over a long period.

5.   Does Remarriage Automatically Cancel Out Spousal Support Or Alimony?

There is one case where permanent alimony would continue after the traditional cessation point of remarriage: if you and your ex-spouse should negotiate that in the settlement agreement. You can always agree to continue permanent alimony after remarriage. This is not common but has and will continue to be done under certain unique circumstances.

For example, your ex-wife may be willing to accept a smaller monthly payment if she knows that it would continue should she remarry. That way you would have a smaller monthly payment, albeit for a longer period of time.

Alimony and Support Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom, West New York

It becomes clear, just by these questions alone, that there are many things to think about and understand when dealing with divorce and spousal support. Call the law office of Mr. Jeffrey M. Bloom at (855) 208-3650. Mr. Bloom will advise and consult with you, and you will feel secure and informed with this knowledgeable advocate on your side.

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