Some divorces include spousal support (alimony) as part of the final agreement. If you are seeking spousal support from your ex — or think that you might — there are a number of specifics that you need to consider in order to plan your future. Our attorneys know that you might have a number of unanswered questions about alimony, and we can help guide you through them.
Here are some of the most issues affecting alimony that need to be discussed with your attorney:
The length and amount of support you can receive
A big consideration for anyone expecting to receive spousal support is how long payments will go on and how much the payments will be. These issues are determined by a host of factors, including the length of the marriage, any pre-existing agreements (prenups), your ability to support yourself and other factors. Most alimony is not permanent. Many support orders are temporary orders that only aim to help you get back on your feet after the split.
The way tax laws can affect your alimony payments
Another consideration is how the current tax laws will impact your award. The tax code regarding alimony payments has recently changed, so make sure you are basing your decisions on the most recent information.
Whether a lump-sum payment is a good idea
Spousal support is often paid on a regularly occurring basis, but others are made as lump-sum payments. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Some people prefer lump-sum payments because it ends their ties immediately, but that also could deprive you of a steady income.
We realize that this is all a lot to think about, these issues all become important considerations in your divorce. Make sure that you closely review the terms of any spousal support offer, including what would cause the support to terminate, before you agree. An attorney can help you better understand the terms of an offer and your rights.