FAQ: Alimony

Question #1: What is alimony?

A: Also known as spousal support, alimony is an agreement or court order that is reached during divorce proceedings and results in one spouse having to pay the other spouse to help cover their various expenses. Spouses can also receive temporary alimony, also called pendent lite alimony, while their divorce is still being negotiated or litigated.

Question #2: What is separate maintenance?

A: Separate maintenance is a form of financial support that one spouse pays to the other while their marriage is still legally valid. Courts generally order separate maintenance when the spouse with the highest wages doesn’t wish to support the lower earning spouse.

The spouse in need of financial support has to prove they have a “need.” In order to prove this, the spouse who is seeking alimony must demonstrate to the court their financial hardship. Separate maintenance is typically ordered if the couple wants to separate, but do not want to legally divorce.

Question #3: How do I request alimony?

A: Spouses are entitled to ask for spousal support during the course of their divorce proceedings. When an agreement regarding alimony payments is reached between spouses, the judge can include their agreement as part of the official divorce order. When spouses are unable to reach a fair agreement, the judge will make a ruling as to whether or not spousal support will be included as part of the divorce.

Question #4: What if I can’t afford to pay alimony?

A: When one spouse attempts to seek alimony but the other does not think they can pay, the judge will review the case and make a decision if an alimony award should be granted. Alimony is based on one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. If the judge believes there is an ability to pay, the judge will order an amount to be paid.

Question #5: Can husbands request spousal support?

A: Both men and women are legally entitled to make a request for alimony during their divorce proceeding.

Question #6: How long can a spouse receive alimony?

A: The spouses involved in the divorce can reach an agreement about the terms of alimony, including how long one spouse receives alimony payments. When spouses can’t agree on the terms of alimony, the judge will specify a time-frame for any spousal support that is awarded as part of the divorce. Currently there is a presumption of lifetime periodic alimony for a marriage of 17 years or longer. This will remain in effect until one of the spouses dies or the court decides alimony is no longer appropriate for the situation. In a marriage of less than 17 years, alimony will generally be ordered based on half the length of the marriage. When one spouse needs help obtaining work experience or additional job training, rehabilitative alimony may be ordered by the court. This form of alimony is temporary and is only in effect until the receiving spouse is able to become self-supporting.

Question #7: What if I remarry? Can I still receive alimony from my ex?

A: If you get married again after your divorce, it will be grounds for terminating alimony. If you enter into a supportive relationship, that may be grounds to terminate or reduce alimony.

Consult With a Divorce Lawyer

At Klein Law Group, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate family law disputes, which is why we are here to guide you through the legal process. We can review the details of your case and determine a strong legal strategy that will protect your rights and interests. Our attorney, Eric Klein, has more than 20 years of legal experience and is prepared to put his skills to work for you.

Call (561) 220-6659 to discuss your case with our Boca Raton divorce attorney. Don’t hesitate, schedule your consultation today.