Alimony, also known as spousal support, is money one spouse pays to the other as support when the marriage ends. This support can begin immediately or later on, as the judge decides. Alimony isn’t allowed in all divorce cases, so it’s important to discuss alimony payments with your attorney before filing for divorce. Reasons for alimony include having significant income differences, the stay-at-home spouse having to support children, or a spouse needing help after an illness.
Whether you’ve been married for years or are just starting your relationship, at some point, you may run into the unpleasant situation of paying either alimony or child support to an ex. Both terms mean the same thing: money paid from one spouse to another. For alimony payments, it’s usually spousal support or child support. Alimony and child support are legal payments made to a former spouse or child. In divorce and separation cases, these payments are usually based on one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.
The Payee spouse receives a substantial gift or award.
Under laws like the tax code, married taxpayers often need to report community income on tax returns. If a spouse receives a gift or award of substantial value in the year, that spouse’s potential tax liabilities may increase if community income is reportable. In certain circumstances, a payee spouse may be entitled to deduct a taxable gift or award.
Your spouse comes into an inheritance.
Every year, people receive unexpectedly large inheritances. Some inherit money from their parents, some from grandparents, and some from aunts and uncles. No matter what the source, inheritances can be a source of stress. When you receive an inheritance, you have two options. You can spend it or save it. Depending on the situation, if either side has come into some sort of inheritance it may have to be divided.
Your spouse furthers their studies and is generating more money.
Right now, you and your spouse are going through a rough patch as a couple. Things have been getting rough lately, with your spouse having to work long hours to help pay for school. But, if the divorce is final, you don’t have much say over their education. So, what can you do? The best thing you can do is reduce your alimony payments, which will allow you to save more money to invest in your own education. And, in turn, that education will make you more employable.
Your income decreased.
If your income decreased, then you will realize that it is one of the most difficult things to deal with in a divorce—especially if you have children. The loss of income has an impact on both you and your ex, that’s why it’s important to be proactive in finding ways to come up with more money, or at the very least, figure out what’s causing your lowered income and how to keep it from getting any worse.
Your spouse remarried.
A divorce is a major life event, but divorce can end a marriage for good for some people. If your spouse has remarried, you will likely face a more complicated divorce. Some couples are better off without a prenup, but if yours is one of these, you may be left wondering how to reduce your alimony payments.
If you’re not sure what the next move is, speaking to your attorney can give you a clearer mindset and help answer the questions that may be troubling you.
Your spouse cohabitates with another.
Finding out that your spouse is cohabitating with another can be a shock to the system. Perhaps they have an extra-marital relationship, or maybe they have been seeing someone else. Whatever the reason, the situation can be devastating to those in the relationship. On the other hand, learning that your spouse is cohabitating and attempting to reduce alimony payments may be a relief, as it reduces the burden of paying alimony and eases the financial burden of supporting two households.
Alimony is an important source of income for many parents who are considering separation or divorce. While child support payments are often a legal obligation that one parent must make, alimony payments in the divorce decree are a decision made between the two spouses after the divorce is finalized.