Whether you have been married a few years or a few decades, divorce is a life-changing event. It often comes with many big emotional and financial life-changing decisions that one must make in order to end their existing marriage and start anew. There are many topics and factors that could affect a person's divorce including child custody, property division and even alimony. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but one topic many divorcing couples have questions about is alimony.
So, what is alimony? Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, is a factor in some divorces in which there is an imbalance in financial capabilities. This could be due to one spouse sacrificing personal and financial success in order to rear the home or it could be due to the fact that one spouse makes a lot of more money and has more education than the other spouse. Essentially, alimony aims to balance this financial imbalance by requiring one financially superior spouse to support the less successful spouse.
This could be in the short and long term and could include any specific dollar amount or percentage of income. Standard of living is a term thrown around during alimony discussions. If a spouse is accustomed to a certain level of living, it is unlikely to think that once single, the divorced spouse will be able to meet this standard of living, especially when they have made sacrifices for the family. Alimony helps to balance out that imbalance.
Not all divorces include an alimony clause. However, it does affect some families when they decide to opt for a dissolution of marriage. Consider how this may affect your financial future post-divorce. Alimony could make a big difference in how that plays out.