Alimony, Spousal Support, Maintenance
If You Are Facing Divorce, You’re Probably Worried About Your Future
The same questions keep coming up:
- Can I afford to keep the house?
- Will I be able to pay my bills?
- Can I afford health insurance?
- Will I have enough to be able to save for my 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 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.
Why does one party even have to pay alimony at all?
The Purpose of Alimony, Spousal Support, Maintenance
It’s important to understand that alimony is 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.
The Difference Between Spousal Support Formulas and Spousal Support Guidelines
When it comes to child support, there is a mathematical formula that outputs a specific amount one party should pay to the other.
It is based on a series of clearly defined inputs.
You enter the data, you get the result. It’s somewhat straightforward.
But there are very few formulas for calculating alimony - regardless of the “calculator” you may have found on the Internet.
Alimony laws in most states provide some general guidelines in the form of “statutory factors” but nothing specific to help you calculate a specific amount of alimony 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 issue to resolve.
Coming to an agreement on alimony with your soon-to-be ex-spouse requires more than just a passing conversation or a wild guess.
There is no such thing as "typical alimony."
Use Mediation to Navigating Alimony Laws and Determine What's Fair
Unfortunately, alimony laws in the United States aren’t exactly clear. They provide very little in the way of guidance and are changing all the time.