Common Alimony Myths
In a divorce, a judge may order the spouse who earns a higher income to pay the other spouse alimony. This money is intended to help the spouse with fewer financial resources pay rent, utilities and other necessary bills. However, there a lot of misconceptions about alimony floating around. Family lawyers discuss some of the most common alimony myths.
Alimony Will Last Forever
Some individuals make the mistake of believing that alimony will go on forever. However, alimony is most certainly not permanent. It’s meant to supplement a person’s income and will likely decrease over time. There several instances where alimony can be terminated. For example, if the recipient spouse is living with another partner or has had a dramatic increase in income, the judge may choose to end alimony payments.
Adultery Has an Effect on Alimony
If your spouse cheated on you during your marriage, you may feel like he or she owes you more alimony. However, courts no longer use alimony as punishment. They generally don’t care if your spouse was unfaithful throughout the marriage and won’t use that against him or her when determining alimony payments.
Alimony Will Help a Spouse Maintain a Standard of Living of His or Her Marriage
There are many spouses who think that alimony will let them maintain the standard of living they had when they were married. They believe they’ll still be able to go on vacations, eat at expensive restaurants and buy designer clothes with alimony. However, when the courts say standard of living, they are referring to basic needs, like housing, food, utilities and health insurance.
Alimony Can Be Used However the Recipient Wants
While it would be nice if you could spend your alimony money how you see fit, it doesn’t work that way. The court wants you to use the money to improve your life, not use it for frivolous purchases. If the judge found out that you have been spending your alimony on shopping sprees and not using it toward necessary bills, for example, he or she may choose to eliminate it.
Alimony Is a Right
Alimony is not mandatory in divorces. The courts will look at several factors before determining if a spouse should receive alimony or not. For example, if a spouse has marketable skills and a well-paying job, he or she might not receive spousal support.
As you can see, there are quite a few myths about alimony. If you are currently going through a divorce and expect to receive alimony, you may want to consult with a family lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can evaluate your case and help you determine how much alimony you should expect to receive.
Most family lawyers offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk to scheduling a meeting with one. A divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA can make you aware of your options and answer all of your questions.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and common myths about alimony.