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Critical facts about how alimony is expected to work in Alabama

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Family Law

Alabama couples who are in the middle class or are considered “high-asset” couples may face various financial concerns when they get a divorce. In these marriages, alimony is a frequent topic for acrimony. Often, one spouse was the primary breadwinner while the other earned less or was a stay-at-home partner. The key to alimony is to maintain the financial “status quo.” This is true from both perspectives and should be understood from the outset.

Understanding rehabilitative and periodic alimony

Under state law, when awarding alimony, it will either be rehabilitative or periodic if the court finds that one party does not have a separate estate or does not have enough in the separate estate to maintain their lifestyle from the marriage; it finds that the other party can provide sufficient support to maintain that status quo and not face financial hardship because of it; and it would be a fair outcome.

Once these criteria are met, the court will determine if rehabilitative alimony is viable. Rehabilitative alimony is designed to give the receiving party time to acquire skills, education or training to support themselves. If it is, then this will be paid for a maximum of five years. If extraordinary circumstances are in place, then it can be extended. Maintaining the lifestyle can differ based on what it entailed. Of course, if the people were wealthy with a large home, vacation home, automobiles and lavish trips, then it will cost more to maintain than a marriage of lesser means.

When the receiving party cannot preserve it and the paying party does not have the means to pay rehabilitative alimony, the court will try its best to come to an equitable determination. Periodic alimony will be payments made in installments. For the determination of whether the paying party has sufficient means, the court will consider many factors such as their assets, their income, liabilities after marital property has been split, if there are children, who has custody and more.

Both paying and receiving spouses should have help with alimony

The difficulty of divorce shows itself in many ways and the financial ramifications are among the most complicated and rife with disagreement. This can be especially problematic when trying to maintain the marital lifestyle through the awarding of alimony. There are many factors that will be assessed and both sides must have guidance with trying to reach a positive outcome from their viewpoint. Having experienced assistance can be essential to a case.