What To Expect When Hiring A Divorce Attorney

Common Myths And Misconceptions About Alimony

When two people divorce, it is not uncommon for one of the former partners to seek and win alimony, or spousal support. Alimony is typically paid to a spouse that needs to reenter the job market, does not make as much as the other spouse, or the spouse that the judge feels is entitled to some monetary compensation. Here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding alimony.

Getting a Job That Pays Less Will Mean Alimony Payments Also Go Down

Alimony payments are based upon a number of factors, including the income of the spouse paying the alimony. However, just because you quit your job, lose your job, or cannot work any longer for some reason does not mean that the alimony payments will change. The judge may waive the alimony payments for a period of time. However, the spouse who is paying alimony will still have to pay back alimony at some point.

If you are a spouse considering quitting your job or taking fewer hours in order to avoid alimony payments, realize that this will not always be the case and you may wind up still paying the same amount of alimony, but will have less money to meet your own needs.  

Only Wives Get Alimony 

Many television shows and movies portray the wife receiving alimony payments. In reality, both spouses in a relationship may be entitled to alimony. For example, if the wife was the breadwinner and the husband worked fewer hours and was more responsible for caring for the children, the judge may award the husband alimony.

Alimony Payments Are Permanent

Each state has its own laws governing alimony payments. For example, in some states, the length of time a spouse is entitled to alimony payments is related to the number of years the couple is married. This means that there is a direct relationship between the number of years a couple was married and the number of years one spouse is entitled to alimony.

In other states, alimony payments stop when the spouse receiving the payments gets married. Before agreeing to an alimony payment schedule, it is important to understand the laws concerning alimony in your state and work with your attorney to ensure you receive the alimony payments you are entitled to.

From the idea that alimony payments are permanent and will never change to the notion that only wives are entitled to receive alimony, there are several common myths and misconceptions concerning alimony. If you have any more questions about spousal support, don't hesitate to contact a divorce and legal separation lawyer.