Will You Be Paying Alimony? Be Sure To Know These 4 Things

Will your divorce result in having to make alimony payments to your former spouse? If so, you likely have a lot of questions about this process. Here is what you need to know.

When Is Alimony Required?

Spousal support is not something that is granted in every single divorce, but it is quite common. It is used in situations where one spouse is unable to meet their basic needs after the divorce on their income alone. Spousal support is a way for you to help your ex-spouse meet those needs so that their standard of living is maintained.

Can You Be Forced To Pay Alimony?

In most situations, paying alimony is something that is done by simply writing a check to an ex-spouse on a monthly basis. However, the court can order wage garnishment if that is not happening per the terms of the divorce. This can result in those alimony payments being immediately taken out of your paycheck, which is then sent to your spouse through a third party.

Are There Limits To How Much Alimony Can Be?

Be aware that each state has its own laws regarding the maximum you can pay each month in alimony. For example, Texas has laws that limit alimony to the lower amount of either $5,000 or 20% of your gross income each month. Make sure you fully understand how local laws will apply to you so that you know what to expect. 

When Will Alimony End?

There are two common reasons that can cause alimony payments to end. The most common one is if your previous spouse is to marry another person. In this case, all alimony payments will stop as of the date of the marriage. However, some states have more lenient laws regarding this, such as stopping spousal support for simply living with another partner. This is to prevent people from not getting married and continuing to collect alimony. The other reason alimony would stop is if either you or your spouse were to pass away, since an estate would not be responsible for continuing those payments. 

However, you also have the option to ask a judge to modify your spousal support payment. You could either have payments lowered to an amount that is much more affordable to you or even ended completely.

Contact a divorce law attorney if you have any questions about alimony payments. They can provide further information.