Alimony, also called spousal support, is designed to help a spouse with a lower income potential survive after a divorce. The availability of alimony, the amount of alimony, and the factors used to determine alimony vary, depending on the type of award. A spouse may be ordered to pay alimony while the divorce is pending, or after the divorce and other family law matters are resolved.
Alimony is usually negotiated between the divorcing spouses and their lawyers. If an agreement can’t be reached, then the family court will decide how alimony should be handled.
Alimony pendete lite
This type of alimony is temporary support during the divorce process. It is meant to level the playing field so that a spouse who earns a better living can’t use financial pressure to force a better settlement. Divorce agreements work best when both sides are focused on their future and their children’s future, and not whether a spouse needs to pay a mortgage company or find money to eat. Temporary alimony usually lasts until the divorce is resolved or until a certain date.
Alimony in futuro
This type of support is designed for support on a long-term basis, for a spouse who cannot benefit from rehabilitative alimony, and is most common for long term marriages that end with divorce. It is designed to help the economically disadvantaged spouse to maintain at least some level of a comfortable lifestyle Payments are made on a regular basis (monthly or bimonthly for example) for a definite period of time (usually years). It is most often used when spouses have been married for a long time rather than for just a few years.
This type of alimony is used to help the supported spouse obtain the skills and education to earn a living or a living comparable to that of the other spouse. Often one spouse sacrifices an ability to earn a living in order to take care of the children. A spouse may work at a low-paying job while her/his spouse works as a professional or in a skilled trade. Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help a spouse support herself/himself and their children too. Payments can be regular. They can also be negotiated to pay for tuition or the courses needed to learn specific skills.
Alimony in solido
This is a lump-sum payment. Instead of regular payments, one spouse pays one large sum (or just a few payments) to the other spouse. Unlike the other types of alimony, alimony in solido cannot be modified if the circumstances/fortunes of the spouses change. Whether the other types of alimony payments can be modified depends on the negotiated agreement or the family court decision.
Alimony solido is sometimes used to level a property division award. For example, one spouse with valuable retirement benefits may pay alimony in solido in order to keep all the retirement benefits.
This type of alimony is simply designed to provide support on a limited basis to help a disadvantaged spouse recover from the financial devastation of a divorce as he or she transitions to life as a single adult.
It is essential that the spouse seeking alimony formally ask for it. There’s no do-over when the divorce is completed. At Shepherd and Associates, P.C. in Maryville, our experienced family lawyers negotiate and litigate all aspects of divorce, including alimony. We fight for clients throughout East Tennessee who are at a financial disadvantage, for whatever reason. Our alimony lawyers examine each and every relevant factor used to negotiate and award alimony. For help now, please call 865.225.9655 or use our contact form. to schedule an appointment.