Spousal support, or otherwise known as alimony, refers to the financial support to be provided by one of the parties involved in a divorce proceeding. The objective of this is to make sure that the one earning less in the marriage will not be left at a disadvantageous financial position once the divorce is granted.
Take note that this is to be taken separately from the division of conjugal property, and neither is it interchangeable with child support. It also rests upon an agreement by the couple, or is decided by the court on a case-to-case basis.
What is Alimony
There are some cases wherein one of the parties in a divorce becomes at a financial disadvantage once the separation becomes official. It could be because they earn way less than the other, or they completely do not have any other source of income.
In this scenario, alimony becomes a crucial form of support for the one who earns less, so they may have the resources to prepare for going back to the workforce. Still, in certain situations, alimony is sought to help the spouse maintain a certain standard of living that they may have been accustomed to.
Determinants of Alimony
The matter of alimony is usually addressed in an agreement between the couple, but in case that doesn’t work out, a court judgment can have the final say. Among the factors included in determining the awarding of alimony include the emotional state, physical condition, and individual financial condition of the requesting party.
Ideally, alimony is meant to be a temporary arrangement, only as a means of support for the recipient until such time that they become self-sufficient. The length of time the recipient would need to complete their training or education will therefore be taken into account when awarding alimony.
The length of the marriage, their standards of living within that time, as well as the actual capacity of the supporter to provide the alimony are also factors that affect the decision.
Once alimony is awarded to the requesting party, the next thing to do is to enforce it. However, unlike child support, which involves wage garnishment to ensure enforcement, alimony mostly relies on the good faith of both parties.
Of course, the recipient could file for contempt against their ex-spouse for failing to comply with the order to provide alimony. It would entail another set of hearings, or possibly a mediation. This is why it is highly recommended to consult with a Riverside family law lawyer.
Having a lawyer to consult and strategize with can help improve the chances of getting favorable results. They will also know how to handle negotiations in case it does become necessary. Any supporting documents or evidence to further support the claim for spousal support will also be handled by the family lawyer.
At the end of the day, proper legal representation is crucial in achieving the results you want in a divorce proceeding. Especially if there’s going to be the matter of alimony to be settled, and child support too if applicable, knowing all the legal options available to you could prove advantageous and beneficial.