Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is a necessity in some divorces. This is generally when one spouse has been the dedicated breadwinner, so the other spouse may need financial assistance in order to get back on their feet after the divorce. Alimony is often misunderstood or confused with other types of support. The following answers can help you better understand what alimony is.
Question #1: Is alimony the same as child support?
Answer: No. Child support goes to support the children while alimony is meant to cover at least a percentage of the ex-spouse's living expenses. While it is true that child support can be used for general welfare expenses, such as ensuring that the child has a home, it isn't to be confused with alimony. An ex can receive alimony even if there are no children, and they can also receive alimony in addition to child support.
Question #2: How is alimony paid?
Answer: Alimony can be paid out in one of several ways, depending on state laws and your divorce agreement. In some cases it is awarded as a lump some that can be paid at the finalization of the divorce. In other instances you may make monthly installment payments. In yet other situations, the alimony takes the form of a specific payment, such as making mortgage payments or paying off a vehicle or education expense.
Question #3: Is alimony for life?
Answer: Usually, no, it is not for life. You may have to pay it for a specific amount of time, which is set at the time of divorce. Or, you may only owe it until your ex-spouse finds employment, finishes their education, or remarries. The specific situation and divorce agreement will determine the length of time in which you will be making these payments.
Question #4: Can only ex-wives accept alimony?
Answer: Either spouse may be eligible for alimony. Generally, the spouse that earned less or didn't have an income during the marriage is the one that is owed alimony, regardless if it is the husband or the wife.
Question #5: Are their tax implications for alimony?
Answer: Yes. The spouse paying alimony can generally deduct it from their taxes if they no longer file a joint return with the ex and do not living in the same household. The spouse collecting alimony must also claim the payments as income.
If you have questions about alimony and are going through a divorce, contact an attorney today to make sure you have a full understanding of the proceedings.
To talk to a professional, contact a law firm such as Stimpson & Associates PC.