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Alimony might be part of your divorce decree

Divorce is never easy. It comes with emotional and financial turmoil. You will have to face various issues such as figuring out the best co-parenting plan for your children, dividing your marital property, and finding a way to support yourself now that you will no longer have your husband's income. Facing the reality of your new financial situation can cause a great deal of stress.

When couples divorce, spousal support, or alimony, might be part of the divorce settlement. Depending on your specific circumstances, the court might award you alimony to lessen the impact of the change in your finances. An experienced Columbia attorney can help you with all aspects of your divorce, including any support issues. Read further for more information on spousal support.

Reasons for alimony

The court will usually award alimony in order to help lower earning spouses maintain a reasonable standard of living. Since you chose to raise a family instead of have a career, the court might grant you spousal support so that you can get the training you need to support yourself.

Calculating support

When deciding how much alimony you should receive and for how long, the court will examine several factors. A judge will look at both you and your husband's physical, emotional and financial states. In addition, the judge will take into consideration how long it will take you to gain the skills you need to earn an acceptable living. Other factors that will play in part in the determination include your standard of living during the marriage, how long you were married, and your husband's ability to make payments.

Award orders

Unlike child support, spousal support does not come with the same options if your ex stops making payments. For example, his wages will not be subjected to garnishment. One of your options is to go before a judge and ask for a contempt proceeding to force you ex-husband to pay.

Time limits for support

While there is no set time line for alimony payments, courts usually order a spouse to make payments for the amount of time it takes the other to become self-sufficient. If your divorce decree does not include a specific end date, your ex must make support payments until the court issues an order ending the alimony. If your ex passes away before you are able to support yourself, you may still receive payments from his estate.

If you are facing divorce and you are worried about how you are going to support yourself, you might be awarded alimony to help with your financial needs.

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