Alimony or spousal support is paid by one spouse to the other after the completion of a divorce. It is intended to assist the spouse that was formerly dependent on the income earning spouse during the marriage. When the divorce decree is finalized by a judge, it will include a spousal payment plan if necessary.
Alimony is one of the most contentious issues during a divorce because one spouse feels entitled to support while the paying spouse wants to end the relationship entirely and move on. Whether you are seeking alimony or trying to avoid making support payments, our Stamford family lawyers can assist you. If there is already a spousal support order in place, we can help seek a modification in many cases.
How a Court Decides Alimony Payments
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to deciding who will pay alimony and how much. Every divorce is different, and there are many factors your Stamford family lawyer will have to consider before submitting to the court for review and approval. The following list is not exhaustive but provides many common considerations.
- Length of the marriage: the longer the marriage, the more dependent one spouse may have been on the other
- Education levels of the parties: if one spouse had much higher earnings and job prospects because of advanced education, that spouse may have to pay more in alimony
- The number of children and their ages: spousal support and child support are separate but interrelated. If one spouse cares for several young children, he or she may receive more spousal support from the non-custodial parent.
- How the assets of the marriage were divided during the divorce: where one spouse received most of the assets because of community property laws, the other spouse may receive higher alimony payments to offset any imbalance.
What is Necessary to Modify a Spousal Support Order
In most cases, a judge will only entertain a motion to modify a support order if circumstances have changed substantially. For example: if the spouse receiving payments lands a high-paying job, the paying spouse may be entitled to reduced alimony payments. Likewise, if the paying spouse loses his job, he may be required to pay less because he needs to support himself on limited income.
How A Stamford Family Lawyer Can Help
To learn more about spousal support payments and modifying support orders, call Piazza, Simmons & Grant LLC today! A knowledgeable Stamford family lawyer can be reached at (888) 652-6629 for a case consultation.