Alimony, Spousal Support, Maintenance
If You Are Facing Divorce, You’re Naturally Concerned About Your Future
The same questions keep coming up.
Can I afford to keep the house? Can I pay my bills? Can I afford health insurance? Can I save for retirement?
All of these worries are typical in divorce and have one thing in common:
When it comes to money and divorce, you’ll find
there is one topic that is more stressful, more emotional
and more difficult to deal with than any other.
Whether you call it alimony, spousal support or divorce maintenance, coming to an agreement in which one party provides their ex-spouse with funds to support their future lifestyle is challenging, to say the least.
Navigating Alimony Laws
Unfortunately, alimony laws in the United States aren’t exactly clear. They provide you very little in the way of guidance and are changing all the time.
Coming to an agreement on divorce maintenance with your soon to be ex-spouse requires more than just a passing conversation or a wild guess.
The Difference Between Formulas and Guidelines
If you’re a parent, you probably already know when it comes to child support in New Jersey and child support in Illinois, there is a mathematical formula used to come to a specific amount one party must pay to the other.
It is based on a series of clearly defined inputs.
You enter the data, you get the result. It’s as straightforward as that.
But there are no formulas for calculating Illinois divorce maintenance
or calculating alimony in New Jersey -
regardless of the “alimony calculator” you may have found on the Internet.
Alimony laws provide you some general guidelines in the form of “statutory factors” but nothing specific to help you calculate an amount of alimony, spousal support or divorce maintenance applicable in your case.
Throw in the heightened emotional state you and your spouse are in, the fact that you’re getting a divorce and are supposed to be severing your financial ties, and you can see why this is such a difficult conversation.
“Why does one party even have to pay alimony at all?”
The Purpose Of Alimony
It’s important to understand that alimony laws are not meant to unjustly enrich one party or penalize the other.
Rather, the idea is to strike a balance that allows you and your ex to live somewhat equally for a period of time after your divorce, just like you did before you divorced. This gives one of you time to get back on your feet and become self-sufficient.
But what if, for one reason or another, you’re very difficult to employ?
Alimony laws allow for what’s known as permanent alimony so that you won’t have to worry should you not be able to obtain the level of earnings you collectively enjoyed in your previous married life.
This type of permanent maintenance may or may not last until one of you passes away. It depends on the circumstances and it’s best you consult with a mediator who can explain this in more detail.
Alimony laws may also allow you to return to school or get other training in order to start or advance your career so that you may become self-sufficient. This can be paid in addition to typical alimony.
Although is there really any such thing as “typical” alimony?