During your marriage, you probably became used to a certain level of financial comfort. You and your spouse probably shared resources if you both worked even though one of you made more money. You may have opted to stay home with the children, so your household relied solely on your spouse's income. Either of these circumstances worked during the marriage, but now that you face a divorce, you wonder how you will support yourself.
If the divorce puts you at an economic disadvantage, you may be able to obtain alimony from your spouse. These payments could help you maintain a certain standard of living as you move into the future on your own. In the alternative, you may only need alimony long enough to gain marketable skills that allow you to support yourself. Either way, you and your soon-to-be former spouse can either negotiate an amount or let the court determine one.
Factors for consideration
The factors that the court considers when determining alimony could also help the two of you come to an agreement on your own. Those factors include the following:
- Marital standard of living
- Length of the marriage
- Education level and needs
- Time needed to become self-sufficient
- Financial condition of both parties
- Physical condition of both parties
- Emotional state of both parties
- Age of both parties
The court would also consider the ability of the paying spouse to do so while still supporting him or herself. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Special circumstances unique to you and your family require consideration as well.
Once the court orders alimony or the two of you agree on an amount, payments must continue until either the agreed upon or the ordered termination date, indefinitely or until a subsequent court order stops them. If the paying spouse fails to make the required payments, you must return to court since alimony does not receive the same enforcement options as child support.
Death of the paying spouse may not even stop payments. The court may order the paying spouse to provide a life insurance policy or some other arrangement for payments to continue beyond death.
An inequity remains regarding who receives alimony. You may be like most Kentucky residents in assuming that the husband will pay alimony to the wife. That's not always the case anymore. As the makeup of families continues to evolve and change, so does the face of alimony. Now, many more men request this assistance in a divorce than ever before.