Do you know how to ask for and get alimony during divorce?
Alimony is the legal obligation of a person to pay financial support to his/her spouse after the divorce. It is a form of spousal support, which aims to correct the unfair economic or financial effects of the divorce. Getting alimony may be difficult, especially when the divorce has been generated by anger or betrayal.
Many factors help determine how much alimony a spouse can get.
There is no definite formula to help compute the total amount of spousal support. However, it is computed based on circumstances such as:
- Property and income of the husband and wife,
- Impairments in the capacity to earn,
- Standard of living,
- Length of marriage,
- The number of children to be raised,
- Each spouse’s capacity to earn, and
- Contributions and sacrifices of one spouse for the other spouse’s education or career.
If you are earning more than your spouse, you have a chance of receiving less. If there are children involved and other factors that can help you with your situation, you should be able to get a reasonable amount of alimony.
Getting alimony is done through the agreement of both parties. They will discuss how much will be paid on a monthly basis. In case of differences or non-agreement, attorney assistance is needed. If there is still no agreement despite the help of the lawyers, the court will decide on how much money a spouse should get.
How much alimony will you receive?
Figuring out how much you as a divorcing woman can get for alimony may require help from an attorney. You and your spouse, together with your lawyers will sit down and discuss details such as your ability to earn, your children, standard of living and more.
Once the amount is determined, you will then compute if you will receive your alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. It is also advisable to consult with a tax professional about the implications of taxes when receiving alimony, as it is counted as an income on the part of the receiver.
Negotiations take place after all the details are discussed. Both spouses, together with their lawyers, will meet with each other. Negotiation is faster compared to a court order, which is why both parties should agree during this period as much as possible. If the terms are agreed upon, both parties should sign the agreement. Otherwise, it will be discussed in court.
To file for alimony in court, as a divorcing woman, you should do the following steps:
- Separate from the spouse. The spouses must first be separated in order to receive alimony. A temporary alimony is received during the beginning of the separation.
- Gather financial information. The courts will require you to present any form of financial information to prove your financial capabilities. Documents such as bank statements, payslips, proof of rent or mortgage payments and the like are supporting documents to show your financial situation.
- Take it to court. You must file the alimony to the proper courts. You should file it to the court where you and your spouse are currently living.
- Fill out the forms. To properly file for alimony, you must find the forms that are applicable to your case. Once you are done with the forms, you can file them and pay the corresponding fees.
- Inform your spouse. A notice of the alimony petition as well as the divorce is needed in order to inform your spouse. However, if the both of you already signed a joint divorce petition, wait for your spouse’s reply. This will take 21 up to 30 days. Once you get a reply, wait for your court hearing date. You and your spouse will then meet in court and await a decision.
Divorce is generally difficult for everyone involved; if you’re a woman currently going through this situation, it can be helpful to not only have adequate legal support but also have a general background as to where you stand legally. Hopefully, the aforementioned information will help you gauge the legal aspect of the alimony process. It still may be tough, but at least you’ll have an idea as to what to expect.