Can I Move Out Of State To Avoid Alimony Or Spousal Support Payments
If youve signed a contract in Texas agreeing to pay alimony to your ex and you move to Alaska you are still contractually obligated to pay alimony as you contractually agreed. The same holds true for spousal support. If a court in Texas ordered you to pay spousal support to your ex-spouse for a certain period of time, you will still be obligated to pay the spousal support ordered, plus interest.
If the shoe is on the other foot, and your ex moved out of state to avoid paying alimony or spousal support to you, it is critical to contact an attorney right away to discuss your options. While your ex is legally required to pay you the alimony or spousal support owed, people do have a way of disappearing, which may make it difficult for you to collect.
Strategy : Have A Judge Evaluate Your Spouses Fitness To Work
After a divorce, a spouse may prefer to remain as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent, even though this causes financial hardship or is not 100% necessary. If your spouse is educated and has the skills to obtain a job that pays well, you can ask a judge to perform a vocational evaluation. It is an objective assessment that provides you with insight into what your spouse can potentially earn by taking a job in their area of knowledge and skills.
Even if a job is not available at the time you go to court, alimony may still be ordered on a temporary basis. This is still preferable to payments that are issued on a long-term basis or indefinitely.
Bear in mind your spouse may just need some space while they work to get on their feet and establish their own household, find a job that pays well, and learn how to live on their own again. Short-term alimony payments will help them along and get them in the right direction faster, especially if they took time off to care for children or help you advance your own career.
How Is Alimony/spousal Support Determined In Texas
Normally, a spouse will request alimony or spousal support when he or she makes less money than the other and cannot live financially independently without the other spouses support. If your ex-spouse does not have enough to cover basic living expenses for themselves and children , the court could order you to pay alimony.
Spousal support may also be requested when one spouse does not have a college degree or has been out of the workforce for a significant period of time raising children or caring for an ailing parent. In this case, a spouse might feel deserving of compensation after sacrificing his or her own job or education to support the family.
Because spousal support is not automatic, the court will decide whether one spouse is entitled to receive the spousal support and review the other spouses ability to actually pay the alimony. The judge will ultimately consider the earning capacity of both parties and other key factors before making a determination.
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What Types Of Spousal Support Exist In Colorado
There are two types of spousal support in Colorado: temporary and permanent. The court can order temporary spousal support while the divorce is still pending, and it is meant to help the lower-earning spouse maintain their current standard of living while the divorce is being finalized. Once the divorce is final, the court may order further temporary support for a specified duration or permanent spousal support
Permanent spousal support is just what it sounds like. It is a payment that is made from one spouse to the other permanently, usually, until the lower-earning spouse dies, remarries, or meets other terminating conditions specified by the court. It is typically ordered when one spouse is unable to support themselves financially after a divorce.
How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony
There is no exact answer for how long a couple has to be married for one spouse to have to pay alimony to the other.
In many cases, shorter marriages are less likely to result in alimony payments, whereas longer marriages in which one spouse made significantly less money and/or stayed home to raise children will likely require one spouse to pay alimony to the other.
The purpose of alimony is for the lower-earning spouse to be able to maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. In most states, longer marriages are associated with higher alimony payments and a longer duration of payments.
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Reporting Taxable Alimony Or Separate Maintenance
If you paid amounts that are considered taxable alimony or separate maintenance, you may deduct from income the amount of alimony or separate maintenance you paid whether or not you itemize your deductions. Deduct alimony or separate maintenance payments on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors , Additional Income and Adjustments to IncomePDF). You must enter the social security number or individual taxpayer identification number of the spouse or former spouse receiving the payments or your deduction may be disallowed and you may have to pay a $50 penalty.
If you received amounts that are considered taxable alimony or separate maintenance, you must include the amount of alimony or separate maintenance you received as income. Report alimony received on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR PDF) or on Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return PDF). You must provide your SSN or ITIN to the spouse or former spouse making the payments, otherwise you may have to pay a $50 penalty.
We Hope This Article On How To Avoid Paying Alimony Was Helpful
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It is all about knowing the facts and the law before agreeing to alimony or taking the issue to court. What we wrote here are only a few important considerations on this topic. It is not practical to cover every scenario here.
An experienced family law attorney in a private consultation can advise you of your options specific to your case.
Ready to talk? We are ready to help. Contact our California family law firm to discuss your alimony situation. We have offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego and serve all of Southern California.
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Negotiate Intelligently To Avoid Paying Alimony
In addition, the spouse should exercise diligence to ensure the alimony number to which he or she intends to agree is an amount the spouse can afford in light of other agreement terms.
Here is one example – If a spouse takes on a high level of debt that is community property and which the other spouse should pay half of but does not, is it really reasonable to agree to pay alimony on top of taking all that debt? The short answer is usually no.
If one spouse takes on 100% responsibility for community debt and alimony without taking that extra debt into consideration, that paying spouse gets hit hard financially. There is only so much disposable income to go around.
The higher earning spouse should not look at alimony in a vacuum
The above example underscores an important point – settlement agreements that include alimony should take into consideration other terms when determining alimony amounts.
Cookie-cutter settlements where assets are divided equally, debts are divided equally and one spouse should clearly pay an alimony amount consistent with the marital standard of living are one thing. But if one spouse takes on more debt than the other or other terms exist that impact the higher earning spouse’s net disposable income, negotiations should take these into consideration when spouses negotiate alimony.
Considerations When Deciding How Much Spousal Support To Award
Once judges have decided that some amount of alimony is appropriate in a particular case, they must decide how much support to award. Almost all states spell out a number of factors judges should consider when making these decisions, such as:
- the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, and the extent to which each of them could maintain a similar lifestyle after divorce
- each spouse’s income, assets, and debts
- how much each spouse will get when their property is divided
- whether one spouse has a lower earning capacity because that spouse was unemployed for periods of time while taking care of the family
- the length of the marriage
- each spouse’s age and health
- contributions either spouse made to the other’s training, education, or career advancement, and
- any other factors the judge thinks are fair.
Also, some states allow judges to consider a history of domestic violence or other misconduct on the part of one or both spouses when they’re deciding whether to order alimony. But one factor that’s generally not under consideration: which spouse filed for divorce. You may request spousal support when you file for divorce. And if your spouse was the one who started the divorce process, you may ask for alimony .
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Have A Judge Evaluate Your Spouses Fitness To Work
Even if it causes financial difficulty or is not 100% required, a spouse may opt to remain a homemaker or stay-at-home parent after a divorce. You can ask a judge to do a vocational review if your spouse is educated and has the ability to seek well-paying work. Its an objective evaluation that tells you how much your spouse could earn if they took a job in their field of expertise.
Even if you dont have a job when you go to court, alimony may be imposed on a temporary basis. Payments that are on a long-term or indefinite basis are still preferable.
Keep in mind that your spouse may simply require some space while they try to establish their own household, locate a well-paying career, and relearn how to live alone. Short-term alimony payments will assist them in getting back on track, especially if they took time off to care for children or help you enhance your profession.
What Kind Of Disabilities Qualifies Someone For Avoiding Alimony Payments
It varies from state to state so its important that you contact a local attorney for the best answer on this. Some disabilities that might avoid alimony payments in Arizona include:
- Severe arthritis or other debilitating diseases prevent you from being able to get out there and find adequate work.
- Mental disabilities can often result in individuals being unable to keep a job for long periods of time, and avoiding paying alimony allows them to avoid financial hardship until they are ready once again for the working world.
- Being a stay-at-home parent for many years will often avoid alimony payments if the other partner is able to get out there and work.
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Criteria For Determining Alimony
The criteria for determining the amount of alimony varies somewhat between states, but these are some of the most common factors that courts will consider:
- One partys need for alimony and the others ability to pay
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Earning capacities of each party and available sources of income
- Age, health and emotional condition of each party
- Duration of the marriage
- The time each party would require to prepare for and find appropriate employment if they werent employed during the marriage
- Contributions to the marriage, including the value of aiding a spouses career-building and the value of services rendered in homemaking, childcare and child education
- Ongoing responsibilities for children of the marriage
Courts have some discretion in how much to value to place on each factor for determining alimony.
Ways To End Alimony Payments
After years of making regular alimony payments to their ex-spouses, many divorcees want to find ways to avoid paying alimony in the future. Depending on the terms of the divorce and recent circumstances, changes to the alimony arrangements may be possible.
There are several types of alimony, sometimes called spousal support or maintenance. Some are designed to be temporary, such as support payments that give the recipient spouse time to train or get educated for a new job. Some are more permanent in nature. If paying spouses want to find ways to avoid paying alimony of any type, however, they will have to go back to court.
According to the American Bar Association, the national professional organization for attorneys, only 15 percent of all divorce cases include alimony payments. Overwhelmingly, they flow from the ex-husband to the ex-wife, although they can be awarded the other way around.
“All states allow courts to order alimony, although some states are more reluctant to order alimony than others,” the ABA writes in a guidebook about family law.
If, in dividing up the couples property, a spouse agrees to make payments to the other spouse in one lump sum, this payment is not eligible for a reduction or elimination. In fact, this type of alimony is one of the few types of alimony that would still be owed after the recipient spouse dies.
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Alimony Payments When A Spouse Doesnt Work
Learn more about alimony payments when a spouse doesnt work in this educational video. Then, give our Georgia lawyers a call for a legal consultation.
Will I pay more in alimony if my spouse doesnt work?
I was meeting with a client the other day that was very concerned because, when we had been to a temporary hearing, he was ordered to pay alimony of a certain amount. He was concerned because in the 20 years of his marriage, his spouse had, at some point, been employed. He had great amount of income. His job was very good. He was concerned because his wife was no longer working. During the life of the divorce case, she had become unemployed and had not gone back into the job market. His concern was whether he would have to pay more in alimony now that she was unemployed as opposed to what he was already previously ordered to pay. In Georgia, there is no set formula for alimony calculation. A judge is going to look at one partys needs versus the other partys ability to pay. In this particular case, his ability to pay had not changed. His income was still the same. However, the concern is that the wifes needs had increased because she was no longer working. In that particular case, a judge is going to look at why is she unemployed. Does she have the ability to work? What does she have the skills to do? What kind of money was she making in the prior 20 years of the parties marriage?
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Working With An Attorney To Have A Pa Court Enforce Your Alimony Order
If your spouse is refusing to pay your full alimony payment on time, you can work with a family law attorney to petition the PA court who ordered the alimony to take additional steps to enforce the order.
The various ways that a PA court can implement to enforce your existing alimony order include:
- Garnishing up to 50% of the paying spouses wages
- Seizing the paying spouses property
- Requiring the paying spouse to provide collateral to enforce his or her obligation
- Collecting rents and profits from real estate held by the paying spouse
- Awarding you interest on unpaid alimony payments
- Bringing contempt charges against the paying party
- Sentencing the paying spouse to up to six months in prison
Certainly, most paying spouses do want to avoid these outcomes, and thus simply having a family law attorney on your side to contact your ex-spouse with a strongly-worded communication regarding the consequences of not paying alimony in full and on time can achieve the desired outcome without court action.
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File A Motion With The Court
If your spouse refuses to pay for no legitimate reason, you have to return to court for help. Hire an alimony attorney or file a claim on your own with the appropriate legal paperwork. Contact your local court or go online to locate the right documents. Ask a judge to order your spouse to make the payments and keep up with payments in the future. The courts call this a motion for contempt or enforcement. Hiring an attorney who can draft legal motions and persuasively represent you in court can go a long way toward securing a judgment in your favor.
If the court rules on your side, the judge can order the county to confiscate your delinquent spouses financial estate and rents and profits from real estate. They can hold your spouse in contempt of court and even order jail time for continued failure to obey the law. The courts may also withhold part of your spouses income, award you part of your spouses bank accounts and other assets, and issue a money judgment against your spouse with interest. The courts offer a variety of solutions for spouses who need help collecting alimony from negligent exes.
Enforcing An Alimony Award
While alimony is legally binding, it can be harder to enforce than other court orders such as child support. Still, there is recourse recipients can take if they arent receiving what has been ordered by the court. Its recommended to talk to a lawyer before pursuing legal action to enforce alimony. There are several methods for pursuing unpaid alimony.
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Strategy : End The Marriage Asap
Your state is going to determine the amount of alimony that a spouse pays. However, one factor that states often consider is the overall length of the marriage. Typically, the longer a person is in a marriage, the more likely it is that you will be faced with higher alimony payments. If you know your marriage is not going to last, consider ending it as quickly as you can. Stretching it out longer and longer just means more emotional pain and longer lasting alimony payments.