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Who Is Entitled To Alimony

Can I Get Alimony In My Divorce

Alimony – Who is Entitled to Spousal Support?

In any divorce case, there are important matters pertaining to money which must be resolved before a final divorce order can be issued. In the Cook County Family Court and in other jurisdictions throughout Illinois, you have the right to request alimony or spousal support payments. Factors the judge will likely consider in determining whether it is warranted include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each partys age and overall health
  • Their individual earnings and assets
  • Their contributions to the marriage
  • Whether one spouse sacrificed their own career or education for the sake of the other.

Even if your spouse is not ordered to make alimony payments, bringing up the above information is still worthwhile as it could help you get a greater share in a marital property settlement.

Categories Of Alimony During Divorce

Alimony usually falls into one of four categories. When it is paid as a bulk payment, it is called lump sum alimony, or maintenance in gross. Temporary alimony, also called limited duration alimony, is awarded when the divorcing spouses earn a similar amount of money but one requires additional financial support following the divorce to establish him or herself. This may be awarded when one spouse must purchase a home or relocate to a new area following a divorce.

Permanent alimony is typically reserved for marriages that lasted a long time. Payments continue until the receiving spouse remarries or dies. Rehabilitative alimony is the final and most common type of alimony. It is awarded with the assumption that the individual receiving it will become self-supporting after a period of training or education. Payments are used to cover living expenses and costs for improving knowledge and skills through vocational or academic programs regarding a desired career.

What Is A Gavron Warning

Family Code 4330 states, When making an order for spousal support, the court may advise the recipient of support that he or she should make reasonable efforts to assist in providing for his or her support needs, taking into account the particular circumstances considered by the court pursuant to Section 4320, unless, in the case of a marriage of long duration as provided for in Section 4336, the court decides this warning is inadvisable. This warning to the spouse that will receive spousal support is a codification of a warning that was issued in a case called Gavron. It essentially means that an ex-spouse is not entitled to sit back, relax and refuse to make a good faith effort to become self-supporting after a permanent support order is entered by the court. As noted, this warning is discretionary. Sometimes the court will even make this order during the pendency of a divorce case.

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How Long Will You Get Spousal Support For

Spousal support agreements or orders usually only last for a certain time. This time is usually based on how long you and your spouse were together.

Often, spousal support will last for between six months and one year for every year you were married or lived together. But if you were married for a long time and you’re older when you separate, spousal support might not have an end date. The end date would be decided later, maybe after you retire.

For example, if you were married or lived together for 15 years, you might get spousal support for 7½ to 15 years.

How Does Spousal Support Work

Are Men Entitled To Alimony?

Spousal maintenance is usually paid on a regular, normally monthly, basis or it can be capitalised so it is paid as a single lump sum. This lump sum approach leads to each spouse becoming financially independent of the other and unable to make future financial applications against each other. This is known as a clean break.

One advantage of a clean break is that it brings certainty to both parties knowing that no further applications can be made. One disadvantage is that the lump sum award cannot be increased at a later date if, for example, the recipient fell ill and could no longer work. Therefore, it is essential that you seek specialist legal advice from a family lawyer whilst considering your options so that you secure what is best for you.

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When Does Alimony Stop

Alimony is ordered for only as long as is necessary for the recipient spouse to receive training and become self-supporting. The divorce decree may stipulate an end date, but if it does not the payments must continue until the court orders otherwise. Most alimony payments end if the recipient remarries.

Often people mistakenly think that if the paying spouse dies then the alimony is terminated, but this is not always the case.

In situations like the death of a high income earning spouse, where substantial payments were being made to a former spouse to ensure the maintenance of their lifestyle, courts may order continued support to be provided from the deceaseds estate. The same applies if the surviving former spouse is unlikely to obtain employment, due to age or health issues.

If you have substantial assets and income, are living in Florida, and considering a divorce, or have concerns about your alimony, we invite you to contact Gary E. Williams, a board certified expert in marital and family law in Pinellas County.

Our experience in family law where high assets are at stake allows us to provide professional and knowledgeable advice to divorcing couples. We invite you call us today at 531-8737 today to discover how we can help.

Types Of Alimony In Florida

Under Florida divorce law, there are five types of award alimony. A judge may award any combination of these types of alimony payments, which may be made periodically or in one lump sum. The types of awarding alimony are determined by how long the payments will last.

  • Temporary alimony is awarded during the divorce proceeding and ends when the final judgment is entered. See Florida divorce case Littlejohn v. Littlejohn to learn more about temporary alimony.
  • Bridge the gap alimony looks at what each spouse would need to transition to single life. Bridge the gap alimony is transitional it considers bills and foreseeable expenses of starting life without a spouse.
  • Rehabilitative alimony has goals similar to bridge the gap. Rehabilitative alimony considers the time one spouse may need to further their education short or moderate and/or obtain appropriate employment.
  • Durational alimony in Florida can be awarded in short-term or moderate-term marriages. It is alimony for a pre-determined amount of time and cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if married for two years, one spouse cannot receive durational alimony for more than two years.
  • Permanent alimony is usually only granted in moderate or long-term marriages. Permanent alimony usually continues until either death or remarriage.
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    Can A Working Wife Get Alimony

    Every situation is different, but if you work and your income is significantly lower than your spouses, and you demonstrate financial need, you may be able to get alimony, at least for a period of time.

    You may be subject to a vocational evaluation to determine if your future earning potential can increase.

    If your income is currently low enough that you qualify for alimony, you may receive it for a short period until you are able to secure higher-paying employment.

    Can I Get Alimony For How Many Years Would I Get The Payments

    Is My Wife Entitled To [Alimony] In Michigan?

    Your spouse can be ordered to pay you alimony if the judge finds that you were financially dependent on your spouse during the marriage . You can prove you were dependent if all of the following apply:

    • you relied on your spouse for financial support
    • you dont have sufficient property, including marital property, to provide for your needs and
    • you are unable to support yourself through work or you cannot work due to caring for a child whose condition makes it inappropriate for you to work.1

    Even if you can prove you are the dependent party, there are still many factors a judge will consider when deciding if you will get alimony and how much you will get. See What factors will a judge consider when deciding whether or not I get alimony? for more information.

    Alimony payments can be ordered to start while the divorce is still pending in court, which is known as interim or temporary alimony,2 and for a period of time after the divorce is finalized. The court will determine how long you or the other party will receive alimony. If you have been married for 20 years or longer, there is no limit to how long you can receive alimony. However, if you were married for less than 20 years, you cannot collect alimony for more than 50% of the length of the marriage.3 For example, if you were married for 10 years, you could only collect alimony for up to five years.

    1 13 Del.C. § 1512, 2 13 Del.C. § 1512

    Read Also: How Long Do You Have To Pay Alimony

    How Is Spousal Support Decided

    There are two steps to deciding spousal support.

    The first step is to figure out if you are entitled to receive spousal support. If you are entitled to spousal support, then you can calculate how much is fair and for how long it should be paid.

    Sometimes, even if you are entitled to support, you may not receive any spousal support because of other factors.

    When Can I Claim Alimony In California

    Usually, you claim alimony as part of divorce proceedings or annulment proceedings. While the proceedings are underway, you can typically claim alimony pendente lite to cover your expenses while the case is finalized. You may also be able to claim ongoing alimony after the divorce is finalized. This will give you financial support on an ongoing basis to help you get back on your own feet after ending the marriage.

    You can also claim alimony during legal separation. This is essentially the same as a divorce and is often used as a trial run for couples considering divorce. In this situation, spouses would live separately and be financially independent, but they would still be legally married.

    Alimony is also available in divorces and separations to end a domestic partnership. Domestic partnerships afford individuals with many of the same rights as marriage, including the right to claim alimony.

    The other time that alimony may be available is quite surprising. Victims of domestic violence can usually file for a restraining order for protection from abuse. When this happens, a court may issue a kick out order which requires the abusive spouse to leave the household. To prevent an abusive spouse from exerting undue control or pressure on the victim, courts can also award temporary alimony while the restraining order is in effect.

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    Speak To Us About Spousal Support Following Divorce

    In order to calculate the amount of spousal maintenance you may be entitled to claim, one of our family lawyers would need to understand your full circumstances.

    To take advantage of your free 30-minute consultation with our expert spousal maintenance lawyers, call , or complete our quick online form.

    I used Kate Butler to act for me in my divorce. I received a very professional service with excellent advice

    Paul Mason

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    You are not guaranteed spousal maintenance. If you have been married for over 10 years, if there is domestic violence in your relationship, if there is a significant wage disparity between you and your spouse, or if there is an existing marital agreement, then you may be eligible for spousal maintenance. If your soon-to-be former spouse is alleging you are owed nothing and you meet one or more of these factors, you should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible.

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    Read Also: How Long Can Alimony Last

    Before Filing For Divorce Learn All About Alimony : What It Is How It Works And How Its Enforced

    Alimony isn’t automatic and isn’t ordered in every divorce. But it isn’t exactly rare either. If you’re facing a divorce and are planning to request alimony, or you think your spouse might ask for it, you’ll want to understand what alimony is, how judges made decisions on the issue, when you can change or stop alimony payments, and how you and your spouse might reach an agreement on the issue rather than having a judge decide for you.

    Spousal Support Requirements In Texas

    For these categories of individuals, there are further eligibility requirements that must be met to receive alimony in Texas.

    First, the person must be married. Simply living together without being formally married or informally married does not make a person eligible to receive spousal maintenance or alimony.

    Second, the individual must be unable to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs. A persons property that is considered includes paychecks, child support payments, interest, dividends, royalties, and other income.

    This property is then compared to the persons expenses related to her minimum reasonable needs, including expenses for a house or apartment, car or transportation bills, healthcare costs, and additional expenses.

    A Houston alimony lawyer can provide assistance in gathering this information and presenting it to the family court.

    Finally, the spouse must meet one of the following four factors to qualify for alimony in Texas:

  • The marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years and the spouse is not able to earn a sufficient income to support herself and that a diligent effort was made to earn a sufficient income or to develop skills necessary to earn a sufficient income to support herself
  • The spouse suffers from a disability
  • Domestic violence against the spouse is established or
  • The spouse cares for a child who is disabled.
  • Recommended Reading: Average Alimony Payment In Us

    Do I Have To Pay Alimony In Florida

    When determining an alimony award, there is no specific mathematical formula under Florida divorce law. Instead, the judge will apply a two-part test based on the details of each case. The first part of the test determines whether or not the party requesting alimony needs financial support. If a need is proven, the next step is to determine if the other party can pay alimony. Both the need and ability to pay must be shown with evidence. Satisfying only one part of the test will not be sufficient to receive alimony. If alimony is awarded, the alimony payment should be enough to support the spouses standard of living.

    Typically, the most important factors are the length of the marriage and the income earning capacity of each spouse. Reeves v. Reeves. The standard of living experienced during the marriage and the health and economic positions of each spouse will also be factors. The judge may also consider the contributions each spouse made during the marriage. See Florida Statute 61.08.

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    Enforcing An Alimony Award

    If your ex isn’t paying court-ordered spousal support, you may go back to court to ask the judge to enforce the alimony orders. The same is true when you and your ex had an agreement on the issue that was made part of the final divorce judgment or another court order. Typically, you’ll file a “show cause” action , and the court will set a hearing to determine why your ex isn’t following the order and what the judge should do to enforce it.

    Family law courts have various tools at their disposal to enforce alimony payments, and a deadbeat spouse could face fines and penalties for failing to follow an alimony order. A judge may also order a spouse to pay alimony retroactively to make up for any missed payments.

    How Do You Know If You Are Entitled To Alimony In California

    You may have heard of alimony or spousal support, but it can be difficult to understand exactly when you might be able to claim alimony. In California, alimony almost always involves court proceedings, and it is usually only available if you are going through a divorce or legal separation. Our Ventura alimony attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain when you can claim alimony in California and how to know if you are entitled to alimony.

    Also Check: Proving Mental Illness In Divorce

    Alimony: Who Is Entitled To Spousal Support

    Spousal support can be an extremely confusing area of divorce law, and there are many misconceptions about it. Contrary to popular belief, spousal support is not guaranteed to a wife, nor is it an entitlement for being married for a certain period of time. The truth is, no one is guaranteed spousal support regardless of how long they have been married, and spousal support can be paid to wives or husbands.

    The purpose behind alimony is to allow a spouse with significantly less income to maintain a lifestyle similar to the one they enjoyed during the marriage. Spousal support is awarded on a case by case basis, and many factors are usually considered when a court decides whether, how much, and for how long alimony should be awarded.

    Factors the court may consider include:

    • The length of the marriage
    • The needs of the spouse requesting alimony
    • The ability of the supporting spouse to pay alimony, and
    • The relative age, health, education, and work experience of both parties.

    A spouse receiving alimony is generally expected to become self-sufficient at some point. However, a supported spouse who was a homemaker for the entirety of a long marriage may not be reasonably expected to become self-sufficient, and in these cases, spouses are sometimes awarded permanent alimony.

    It is also possible to modify spousal support payments upward or downward in the case that the income for either spouse is changed.

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