Spousal Support Lawyer in Baldwin County, AL
When a couple splits, one of the parties may be considered dependent. Often, one spouse makes more money, hence leaving the other to depend on his or her salary to maintain the quality of life they have worked to achieve. Whether the dependent party works or stays at home to care for the family, a dependent party may be entitled to alimony, also known as spousal support. For many cases, the needs of the dependent party and the ability for the independent party to pay is the foundation of the decision. It is important to discuss your situation with an attorney that understands the nuances of alimony decisions and the court’s discretion. If divorce is a reality and you need quality legal support, contact Stone Crosby, P.C.
During the course of a divorce case, a dependent spouse may be entitled to alimony. Because marital issues have not been resolved, the dependent spouse should be able to navigate through the process without fear of significantly impacting one’s standard of living. With that in mind, a court is open to a motion requesting temporary alimony, also known as pendente lite. Temporary alimony ends when the case does. In most cases, with some exceptions, the court will provide the dependent party with support order to last as long as necessary.
Factors considered for an alimony structure
As stated above, alimony is completely discretionary. Courts will assess the need for alimony and the ability for the other party to pay. There is no statutory formula the court follows to determine if alimony should be awarded and how much for which the dependent spouse is entitled. Generally speaking, there are numerous factors a judge will consider when deciding on this marital issue, including, but not limited to:
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s income and potential future earnings
- The health and age of each spouse
- Property and assets owned by the couple
- Conduct during the marriage, including adultery and misconduct
Types of alimony in Alabama
A judge can award various types of alimony depending on the situation. When a dependent party has the education and career experience to become financially independent or has the potential to become financially stable through further education, a court may provide temporary alimony, or rehabilitative alimony for a limited time. Permanent alimony may be awarded to those who will never be able to support themselves financially and split after a longer marriage. In addition, a person can be awarded periodic alimony or alimony in gross. Periodic alimony are payments made over time that can be modified because of a material change in circumstance. Alimony in gross can be awarded similar to property distribution but cannot be amended after a certain time period.
The termination of alimony
Periodic alimony amounts, including permanent alimony, may be stopped for a few reasons. If a person becomes financially stable and it is found to be so, the obligor may be able to terminate payments. If the dependent party was to cohabitate with a romantic partner or remarry, this could lead to termination of alimony.