Alimony and now known more commonly as spousal support is providing a portion of financial income from one spouse to another after they are divorced. Though it may seem that one spouse is getting the short end of the stick, there are actually advantages to both parties. Both spouses can enjoy bigger tax breaks, which means more money can be kept in your bank account. At The HTW&W Law Office, our experienced divorce legal team can help you with your alimony case and ensure your legal rights are being protected.
Unlike child support, alimony is different in every case and there is no state requirement for the amount of alimony a spouse may receive. This means that it is up to the judge presiding over your case to determine how much, if any alimony you may receive or have to pay your spouse. Obviously, those cases where the spouses come to an agreement of alimony make things go much smoother and quicker in court.
However, if the spouses cannot come to their own agreement, the judge will consider certain factors. For example, if you relied on your spouse for most if not all of the financial income for the many years that you were married, then the judge may award alimony to you. The judge may also consider one spouse’s ability to support themselves financially in the future following their divorce. A person’s age, health and even conduct can also influence the judge’s decision.
As mentioned earlier, there are tax breaks for both spouses involved in alimony. If you are the spouse with a higher income and are ordered to pay alimony, you can write this off as a tax deduction. Alimony is also included in the taxable income of the spouse who is the recipient.
If alimony is considered in your case, there are also some rules to follow on both sides. For example, property, gifts, services or debts cannot be considered alimony. It must be in the form of money (either by means of cash, money order, check or bank deposit.) Also, alimony stops when the spouse receiving the alimony dies.