5 March 2013 0 Comments

The Nuts and Bolts of Alimony

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When a couple gets married and begins to plan a family, it often becomes a necessity that one or the other partner reduce their presence in the workplace in order to maintain a home and raise children. Traditional views of marriage have held that the mother is the primary homemaker, but more and more stay-at-home dads are taking on the tough but rewarding task of raising children and keeping house.

Such a living arrangement, while beneficial for the children and the structure of the family, can lead to numerous problems in the case of a divorce, when a primary breadwinner suddenly does not live with the primary homemaker any longer. This can leave someone who is technically unemployed – and who may have been left out of the workforce for a number of years while raising a family – entirely without means of supporting his or her self, while the primary wage earner seeks living arrangements elsewhere.

In such a case, it is not uncommon for a court to order the primary wage earner to maintain a level of income for the primary homemaker, particularly when children are involved. Such a monthly payment of money to an ex-spouse is known as alimony. A typical alimony payment can depend on a great many factors, though usually it will be adjusted to the income level, child custody time, health and age of either party and similar factors that may alter the person’s ability to earn income.

Because alimony does depend on so many factors, it is one of the most hotly contested of divorce proceedings, and one of the most likely to change at least once – if not several times – over the course of divorce proceedings. As the situation of one of the parties changes, the alimony order can shift – growing, shrinking, or in certain cases disappearing altogether.

It is important, therefore, that you be in touch with an experience attorney during your divorce proceedings, so that the ins and outs of alimony are easier to navigate, and your rights are fully protected.

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