If you are involved in a divorce that concerns alimony payments, our Phoenix divorce attorney can help make the process less stressful. Your attorney understands that divorces are hard on most people. You have lost your spouse. Perhaps your children live away from home, and you must find a way to get on with life. Then, there is the financial aspect of your divorce. Just how will you and your former spouse afford to live separately? Courts play a large role in how divorces proceed financially. Judges award alimony payments to one of the former spouses when they see the need. However, despite the prominence of discussion about alimony in the popular press and movies, few people really understand the concept of spousal support. So, to help alleviate confusions, following is a discussion of alimony that should prove particularly valuable for those contemplating a divorce and need a Phoenix divorce attorney.
The Rationales Behind Alimony Payments
Courts award alimony with the purpose of making a divorce settlement just. The person with the higher income or degree of wealth should provide for the living expenses of the party with fewer financial resources. This principle harkens back to the traditional marriage in which there existed a principal wage earner. In this arrangement, the divorced spouse who stayed home to take care of the children, for example, could very well have problems entering the job market without the requisite work experience or education. Alimony is also a means of allowing a former spouse to continue their expected standard of living. Divorce, in this thinking, cannot be a tool to punish someone financially. Unbeknownst to many, spousal support is rehabilitative, not permanent. The awardee must understand that at some point, the court may reduce or discontinue the payments. Your Phoenix divorce lawyer will have information on just how long judges tend to allow alimony payments to continue. In general, alimony ends with remarriage of the recipient. Changes in financial status could also precipitate alterations in the alimony settlement. However, it is important to know that payments can continue after the death of the payer. The court can force the estate of the deceased to make arrangements to cover the alimony.
Alimony Payment Enforcement Mechanisms
There is some confusion in the popular opinion of alimony with child support. True, states have many mechanisms at their disposal to enforce child support decrees. Those delinquent on child support payments face jail time, in some cases. Yet, alimony is strictly a civil matter, leaving the presiding judge with fewer options to enforce payment. Nevertheless, as in all civil matters, ultimately, the judge can deem a delinquent in contempt of court, which could lead to serious problems, necessitating a Phoenix divorce lawyer step in to solve things.
Men Are Eligible for Alimony Too
Times have changed significantly where marriage concerned. In the past, it was common for men to lead a career, while women stayed at home to raise the family. Now, with increasing numbers of women with jobs that provide lucrative incomes, the courts cannot assume that the man will be the one required to pay alimony. Instead, it is becoming more normal for courts to award alimony to men. Your Phoenix divorce lawyer will discuss this trend with you during consultation. The important thing to remember is that you cannot make assumptions about how the court will rule.