People marry for different reasons. Most of them (a safe assumption) do so intending to start their own family. However, it is also a fact that not all marriages work out. Hence, there is a need for what is called in legal terms as alimony. With this, a lot of questions that need answers come into play. Here are the facts which you need to know about alimony.
What is Alimony?
Alimony, put into the simplest term, is the financial support often ordered by judicial courts, given to a former partner. Both the husband or the wife can receive alimony. According to the law, the alimony receiving party should make little to no money.
As said beforehand, either the husband or the wife can receive alimony. One can assume that in most families with children, it is the husband who makes a living. Furthermore, most women sacrifice their jobs before their marriage to focus on taking care of the kids, thus making her vulnerable when it comes to financial matters.
The Ins and Outs of Alimony
The duration for which a person must pay alimony, as well as the amount to pay, depends on various factors. One of them is the longevity of the marriage. Another is the past and present earning capacities of the two parties.
These are the general guidelines for giving and receiving alimony. Rules may be different, though, depending on the place one is residing in. In case the husband and wife request separation and divorce after ten years, alimony is sure to be granted — that is if the two do not have equal income-making capabilities.
Alimony is not forever as the provider can stop giving money under any of these circumstances. This includes reasons like the judge providing an end date for alimony, remarriage of the receiving party, the child not depending on the parent, or a judge’s decision that the recipient has no intention of being self-sustaining.
What are the Requirements for Receiving Alimony?
The receiving party does not automatically receive alimony from his or her former partner. To be able to qualify, he or she must meet certain requirements. These requirements are as follows:
- The two parties cannot file tax returns as a single entity.
- Alimony must be sent only through legal means like cash, check, or money order.
- There must a contract which states the details of the alimony. This contract is made effective by a couple’s divorce or separation.
- The parties who are giving and receiving the alimony should not be residing in the same abode.
- In case the party who is the recipient of the alimony dies, the one gives it becomes of the obligation.
- Alimony payments received such be treated as such. It is not child support.
What is the Current Status of Alimony in Today’s Society?
Alimony is to provide financial stability to the spouse, who has a lower earning capacity. It has become a form of “safety net” by which a partner can be assured of being financially provided for. However, times are changing, and so is the general public’s attitude towards alimony.
Nowadays, both men and women have varying reactions to alimony. That’s because most women today prefer to stay independent rather than receiving alimony from their husbands, which forces them to stay in touch. Likewise, not all husbands are keen on providing alimony to their previous partners. Not only that, some husbands are seeking ways to avoid paying alimony. A few men even go out of their way to make their wives pay them alimony.
The rapidly changing scenario in the workplace has also significantly impacted how people view alimony. The current working environment and circumstances permit women to have more income-generating capacity. It allows them to catch up to their former spouses in terms of money-making potential or even surpass the latter.
The wives can stand on their own financially speaking, even after severing the marital ties. Therefore, the authorities are extra vigilant and cautious in matters of granting alimony. Your legal advisor should be able to walk you through the alimony laws of your land and guide you on the way forward. Make sure you ask as many questions as possible and have your doubts cleared!