Divorce Maintenance And Alimony

There are basically two different forms of divorce maintenance. The first is spousal maintenance which is also referred to as alimony. Although alimony is becoming less and less common, there are still a number of situations where one spouse is required to pay money to their marriage partner for a specified period of time and in accordance with certain conditions. Spousal divorce maintenance is normally awarded to a person who has not worked for any period of time during the marriage and was in essence supported financially by the other spouse. This means that the income earner will be required to continue supporting the non-earning spouse in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. In rare cases, spousal maintenance will be awarded to a working spouse where their income is significantly less than that of their marriage partner. There are a number of reasons when alimony can be discontinued. Should the maintained spouse begin earning an income or get an increased income, the alimony amount can be lowered or even eliminated by the court. If the spouse receiving the divorce maintenance gets remarried, the alimony will be discontinued from the date of the new marriage with immediate effect as it is assumed that the new spousal partner can take care of the financial support.

Divorce Procedure and Spousal Maintenance

As with all the elements that are involved with divorce procedure it is best to reach an agreement regarding spousal maintenance out of court. This can be done through the assistance of a lawyer or attorney in a divorce mediation process. An agreement that is reached out of court will be added to the divorce papers submitted to the court which will then simply grant the agreed to alimony. If an agreement is not reached the court will make a decision as to what it deems to be fair alimony for both parties involved in the divorce procedure. However, there are ways around this and alimony can be settled in one go rather than the court awarding a continual monthly or annual amount that is to be paid. This means that the court will calculate what it deems a fair full amount for alimony and the spouse can then pay this amount in one go. Alternatively, the payer can exchange the alimony payment for an asset of worth. For example, if the low or non-earning spouse gets the house in the divorce procedure, this can cover the amount that would have been due as part of the spousal divorce maintenance.