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Alimony: A Basic Guide

Last updated 2 years ago

Alimony, also known as spousal support, refers to monthly payments designed to provide financial support to an ex-spouse so that he or she can continue living in the fashion to which he or she has become accustomed following the dissolution of a marriage. While an experienced family lawyer can help you get the financial compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to educate yourself on how alimony is determined.

The purpose of alimony is to ensure that either spouse should not be forced to live at a level below that enjoyed during the marriage itself. However, the duration of the marriage and whether or not both spouses are self-sufficient will also be taken into consideration when determining whether or not a spouse shall be awarded alimony. Additional factors taken into consideration include which spouse was the main breadwinner during the marriage, whether the marriage ended due to infidelity, and whether or not children are involved. Typically, the court will award temporary alimony to a spouse who has primary custody over any children.

In some cases, both spouses may agree on spousal support without the need for court intervention. This type of alimony may be provided for an unlimited period of time, end on a specific date, or be subject to the remarriage or death of the recipient spouse. While there is no fixed dollar amount for spousal support, alimony may be calculated by taking up to 40 percent of the paying spouse’s net income minus 50 percent of the supported-spouse’s net income. The dollar amount may also depend on the paying-spouses current debts, assets, and future predicted earnings.

Whether you are struggling to obtain alimony, disagreeing over child support, or you have just started the filing process, the divorce attorneys with Dixon & Johnston, P.C. are here to help. For more information on our practice areas, contact our family lawyers and disability attorneys at (618) 233-1103. You can also visit us online to set up your free initial consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.


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