Category : Alimony

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Why Do I Have To Pay Alimony?

Alimony may be awarded when the court decides, based on predetermined criteria and the individual dynamic of the marriage, that one spouse contributed enough to the marriage to warrant ongoing or temporary support. Some states allow lifetime alimony while others are moving away from it. Regardless of where you live, though, here are some reasons why you may end up paying it to your spouse.

1. Your spouse gave up working for a number of years.

Courts see this as a sacrifice for the marriage because the non-working spouse, in theory, contributed to holding the household together so the working spouse could maximize career potential. Their efforts made your success possible, the logic goes, and so that should be compensated for a length of time after the marriage is over.

2. Your spouse took a career setback for you.

The sacrifice mentioned above is also seen in the non-working spouse’s difficulty reentering the workforce. If she has been out of work for five years, for example, she isn’t as marketable as other candidates and may have to renew her professional credentials in some way. This takes time and it can be difficult to maintain a worthy lifestyle during that time.

3. Your spouse was a stay-at-home parent during the marriage.

Children require a great deal of time and attention. They’re usually the toughest job that a person will ever take on, and the pay isn’t very good. (Though the hugs are.) Childcare is one of the most common reasons that a spouse might leave the job force, and it takes some time to recover professionally once the little ones are self-sustaining. For this reason, a court will usually award alimony.

How is alimony determined?

The short answer is “on a case-by-case basis.” Most courts use a formula so that if the non-working spouse was married 15 years, for example, the alimony might run for 10 or until the non-working spouse finds gainful employment. However long it is, it’s an expense that you may have to plan for, so consider it when working out the financial details prior to filing.

What Will Courts Look At When Determining Alimony?

As on online divorce review site, we receive a lot of feedback from users who want to know how they can get out of alimony payments to their ex once the marriage is dissolved.

Alimony can seem unfair to the paying party. After all, you’re no longer in love with your ex. You pay child support, so the extra you’re paying to your spouse isn’t helping your little ones, right? Why don’t they just get a job?

These are the types of thoughts that go through the mind of the payor. However, courts award alimony for a reason that has nothing to do with trying to make your life miserable, even though it may seem that way at times.

Courts want to reach an equitable decision between the two parties, and like it or not, alimony is oftentimes just that. Do the systems for determining the amount need to be reformed? Probably. But the spirit behind the practice is justified especially when you see alimony through the eyes of the court instead of your own limited field of vision.

Here are the primary factors that courts weigh when determining alimony.

1. The length of time that your ex has been out of the workforce.

Like it or not, but when your ex has sacrificed his or her career to be a stay-at-home mom or homemaker, they are contributing to the marriage at a great personal risk. That contribution frees you up to advance your career and/or education, thus becoming more marketable. When the marriage is over, it’s not fair to simply discount those contributions. That’s why a judge will try to determine an equitable solution that allows the alimony recipient to continue with a similar lifestyle while pursuing personal opportunities. They’ve got a lot of lost ground to make up for, in other words, and alimony allows them to do it.

2. The barriers to working that your ex now faces.

If your ex is incapable in some way of improving their situation — a mental deficiency for instance — then it’s not unusual for a judge to award lifetime alimony. It is a safety net that is put there so that your ex’s quality of life won’t drop off considerably after the divorce. For disabled individuals, the barriers to reentering the workforce — or entering for the first time — can be too great to overcome without help. If you were making six figures per year while your ex took care of things at home enabling you to achieve that level of success, that will be a factor taken into consideration as well.

3. The fiscal demands of being the primary caregiver.

While child support goes to the child, your ex still needs to support said child financially, and if they are the primary caregiver, then it can be hard to do so when they are at a professional disadvantage. This, too, will be something courts look at in making a final determination.

If you’re looking for an attorney to help navigate the waters of alimony, check out some of our online divorce reviews of attorney referral services available in your area. Good luck!

Options of a Divorce!

A divorce legally suspends a marriage.  Courts in the United States at this time acknowledge two types of divorces:

1) Absolute/Fault Divorce: To obtain an absolute divorce, courts require some type of verification showing of wrongdoing on one spouse’s behalf.  An absolute divorce is an official termination of a legal marriage.

2) Limited Divorce: Limited divorces are typically referred to as a legal separation Limited divorces result in termination of the right to separate but the court refrains from officially dissolving the marriage and the parties status remain unchanged.

A limited divorce is a legal action in which the court obverse’s a couple’s separation.  It is generally used by people who

  • Do not have any grounds of an absolute divorce
  • Need financial relief
  • Unable to settle their differences privately

During a limited divorce, the parties are to reside separately.  However, they remain legally married.

  • Although the parties are still married, neither has the right to have sexual relations with the other spouse.
  • In addition, neither spouse may remarry, nor have sexual relations with another person.  If so, this is considered adultery.
  • The court determines which party is at fault, if either, is at fault.  The court may grant support to one spouse based on need.
  • The limited divorce can also resolve questions of:
  • child custody
  • child support
  • health insurance coverage
  • dividing of personal property & assets

If spousal support is not required, and there is no property to divide, there is generally no need for a limited divorce.

If one spouse dies after a limited divorce the other spouse may still inherit property.  Also the form of ownership for any property you own as husband and wife will stay the same.

3) Conversion Divorce:

Some states permit conversion divorce.  Conversion divorce changes a legal separation into a legal divorce after both parties have been separated for a necessary amount of time.

4) No-Fault Divorce:

Many states have passed a no-fault divorce.  A no fault divorce does not require a fault or a substantial reason to divorce.  In today’s day, not all states have passed a no fault divorce.

The Court may find the following:

  • the relationship is no longer possible
  • that irreconcilable differences have caused a breakdown of the marriage
  • conflict of personalities have destroyed the legit ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable possibility of reconciliation
  • Marriage is irretrievably broken

Property Division

During a divorce the court must divide the property between both spouses.  Courts today recognize two separate types of property during property division proceedings

  • Marital Property
  • Separate Property

Marital property is any property that the husband and wife obtained individually or jointly during the course of the marriage.  Separate property is any property that one spouse purchased and possessed prior to the marriage and that did not change in value during the course of the marriage.  If the separate property owning spouse trades the property for other property or sells the property, the newly obtained property or funds of the sale stay separate property.

Current Division

Current division of property strives for a reasonable division of marital assets.  By dividing the assets equitably, a judge endeavors to effect the final separation of the parties and to enable both parties to start their post-marital lives with some degree of financial status.

Most courts at least recognize the following factors:

  • Contribution to the accumulation of marital property
  • Respective parties liabilities, whether one spouse received income-producing property while the other did not
  • the duration of the marriage
  • age and health of the partners
  • the earning capacity and employability of the respective parties
  • the value of each party’s separate property
  • the pension and retirement rights of each party
  • whether one party will receive custodial and child support provisions
  • the tax consequences of the allocations
  • whether one spouse’s marital misconduct caused the divorce

Most jurisdictions also give the family court judge broad jurisdiction by providing judges with the right to consider any other just and proper factor.

When assigning property, judges cannot transfer the separate property of one spouse to another spouse without the legislature having previously passed an enabling statute. Whether such an enabling statute exists varies between jurisdictions.

Alimony

Alimony refers to payments from one spouse to the other.  A court can order one spouse to pay three different types of alimony:

  • Permanent Alimony
  • Temporary Alimony
  • Rehabilitative Alimony

Permanent alimony requires the payer to continue paying either for the rest of the payer’s life or until the spouse receiving payments remarries.  Temporary alimony requires payments over a short amount of time so that the payment receipt can stand alone once again.

Similar to temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony requires the payer to give the recipient short-term alimony after the property division proceedings have ended.

Rehabilitative alimony is to help a spouse with lesser employ ability or earning capacity become adjusted to a new post-marital life.

Courts allocate alimony with the intention of permitting a spouse to maintain the standard of living to which the spouse has become accustomed.  Factors affecting whether the court awards alimony include the marriage’s length, the length of separation before divorce, the parties’ ages, the parties’ respective incomes, the parties’ future financial prospects, the health of the parties, and the parties’ respective faults in causing the marriage’s demise.

If a couple had children together while married, a court may require one spouse to pay child support to the spouse with custody, but one should note that alimony and child support are totally different.

In a nutshell, if you are certain you want a divorce you can simply start the process yourself by going to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and begin your do it yourself divorce now.

Negative Energy; Divorce’s Ugly ByProduct

Of all the emotions that can be rendered from the divorce process, Anger is truly the single most dangerous emotion that rears its ugly head when divorce is involved. Making matters all the more troubling is that when the process is over and considered a closing chapter in your life it is not uncommon that these two emotions though will last a great deal above and beyond what should have been the initial benchmark for closure.

Anger and resentment are natural responses to being emotionally damaged and are all too uncommon feelings that are experience and held onto during the divorce process. It is perfectly normal to feel some or all of these things when you have been hurt. These feelings may seem impossible to let go of, especially if issues of child custody and child support are concerned, but for a platitude of explanations but hanging on to them and letting those feeling linger and fester will only have an end result of long lasting negative effects on your mental and physical well-being and without question compromising your ability to start working towards rebuilding your life. The attitude of rebirth and a second chance to start with a better, more fulfilling life should never take a back seat to residual negativity.

Anger, resentment, guilt, and other negative emotions can slowly eat away away at the stability of your life in the following ways;
Anger is an energy that is draining and sadly the process of divorce and divorce laws can set up an overwhelmingly negative situation. That energy of anger robs you and depletes you of your positive power by transfering it to the person you are mad at. How much energy it takes to be mad at your ex? How much time and energy have you spent thinking and lingering over it? Time and Energy both have finite resources and no one has ever benefited by letting negative energy take over the positive and proactive abilities at your disposal.

An instinctive reaction to a grievance is resentment. Stemming and forming from the perception that you have been wronged or somehow being treated unfairly. Resentment can be defined as an inherent binding to bitterness and can be linked to the dangerous road toward outright hatred. These emotions can slowly and surely start to negatively impact the mind, body, and heart not to mention these two negative emotions of resent and anger are unquestionably socially destructive. Have friends stopped returning your calls or emails? It is probably not that they no longer want to be friends as much as it is that spending time with an angry, resentful person is unpleasant. We are not the first to realize that the fastest way to alienate others is to perpetuate yourself as one who cannot let go of the emotional baggage of anger and resentment. When someone who used to be known as “the fun friend” is now known as “the angry friend” you can expect luncheon invitations will start to decline. And while an online divorce kit can help start the divorce process we also recognize that factors of post divorce emotional well being.

In essence-do not lot divorce define your life and who you are. No matter how negative and emotionally draining the divorce process may have been letting it define you as a person is the surest way to limit your post divorce possibilities.

File For Divorce Online; An Idea Whose Time has Come

 

Back in the day, the idea of divorcing your spouse was a challenge and invariably lead to rumors or innuendos that one spouse must have committed some grounds of divorce as as unspeakable, unsavory or sordid act like committing adultery, spousal abuse or emotional abuse and utilize these as leverage on the assumption they would serve as ammo or the necessary needed proof that your spouse had acted improperly and thus be granted a divorce. Think about that-two adults who wished to make the split almost being forced to attack the other simply to earn the right of being freed of matrimony.

Fortunately, those days are behind us divorcing your spouse is much easier. Most couples can simply divorce sans courthouse using the downloadable divorce kit without the stigma and horror of having you and your family forced to ride the roller coaster of divorce court and the possibility of children having to listen to mom and dads lawyers making each of their parents out to be horrible people. With the theatrics and working knowledge of the courts and the divorce process some lawyers are very adept at stretching a court case out far longer then it other wise would need to be.

If there are children involved-avoiding the courtroom altogether is the best decision possible as it considers the feelings of children and avoids the high probability of humiliation and trauma of sitting and listening hearing about mom or dads worse personal traits paraded through the court.
All states nowadays allow for “no fault”, “no contest”, or uncontested divorce which essentially means that both spouses can agree on the terms of a divorce and amicably work out their own settlement. Considered in this process is the sorting out of assets and loans, cars and houses, child custody, alimony etc etc.

With the notion of a long term courtship or knowing your soul mate after 10 minutes becoming far less frequent- we have seen a distinct rise in couples who are either getting married far too young or simply getting married after a very short time after meeting. As much as we smirk and snicker at the idea of a downloadable divorce kit; A “no contest’” divorce also has the benefit in that a couple can simply decide to split without having to give a reason.

And without question in almost all instances an uncontested divorce kit will surely avoid attorneys, lawyers, and court rooms which also equates to a “no contest” divorce being far more cost effective. Basically seeing both spouses work out the details by themselves to the benefit off all parties involved in an adult, rational decision.

Divorce and Adultry

Some recent studies have suggested that fewer marriages are ending due to infidelity, on the face it sounds like a huge step in the right direction for the age old institutional practice of marriage and maybe not the best thing for a company that makes a living with its online divorce kit. 

Though this recent trend is a positive sign and without question a step in the right direction; we would be remiss to the pretend that cheating and marital infidelity has disappeared. It also begs the questions how many acts of martial infidelity go undetected throughout to the life span of marriage. But as we pose the question at heart we ask why does infidelity occur in the first place?

Here is some more divorce information you will find useful. Some Research being done by our friends up north in Canada did a recent study of a group of 1,000 men and women. Those findings offered some interesting perspective into the factors that sway people to seek gratification from a partner other then their spouse.

Amongst the findings it was revealed that stat breakdown was that 23 percent of the guys and 19 percent of the ladies involved in the study had previously cheated on a partner. The study defined cheating as a sexual interaction “with someone other than your primary partner that could jeopardize, or hurt, your relationship.” In Addition, researchers found that women were in fact far likelier to cheat when they felt some amount of low relationship satisfaction. The is some interesting divorce information indeed. The study showed a woman who was in an unhappy relationship with her partner was a full 2.6 times more likely to stray. Other factors such as sexual incompatibility led to a full 2.9 times more likely chance of woman having an affair. Meanwhile, men who report high sexual inhibition due to performance anxiety were more likely to cheat.

Clearly the report indicated that cheating tends to come and stem from factors that effect all relationships at some point. It is not as if these factors are those that any relation ship has never suffered from or ever experienced.

What would seem to be the most obvious factor then in prohibiting marital infidelity is to continually monitor the lines of conversation and foster a relationship build on openness, trust, and honesty. of course there is always the option of do it yourself divorce but a couple who fails to communicate; fails to remain a viable couple. With age comes wisdom and being able to express feelings as well as being open up to take and relate to relationship criticism is seeming the road to a happy marriage And barring a couple who have entered into the bond of holy matrimony for all of the wrong reason and without a sound foundation-there is hope for almost any relationship for those willing to try.

Physical Custody Issues with DIY Divorce

Physical custody section is made up of several activities and events all having do with the actual time lines in which each parent takes and acts as sole guardian of their children at a prearranged, predetermined date as agreed upon by the spouses.

Online Divorce Forms; Making Sense in an Nonsensical Time

The popular website will soon reach the 275,000th hit milestone as consumers and savvy, financially astute adults turn away from traditional divorce pathways towards a more amicable driven pathway.

Don’t pay a lawyer, MyDivorceDocuments.com to the rescue!

The issues and the hostility drive the major costs in the divorce process between the husband and wife and Divorce Law often comes into play. Most attorneys will give you an estimate, however the cost can run past estimates because of the contentious nature of the divorce process.

Massachusetts Alimony Law Changes

Each state has its own specific and detailed laws in regards to anything that falls under the Family Law tree. Obviously these laws vary state to state, depending on certain instances that only occur and apply to that state, for whatever reason that may be. So, it’s only natural that the state of Massachusetts has its own laws concerning such things as child support and alimony.

However, up until September of 2011, the laws and stipulations concerning alimony were not too kind to those who had to pay it, simply because of the fact that the rules were set in stone and certain circumstances affected those in a divorce quite negatively. That is, of course, until  Governor Deval Patrick signed Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2011. By doing so, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts effectively abolished most lifetime spousal support, thus joining several other states where alimony payment laws have changed. Many of these changes occurred because those who were forced to pay it could not, due to the fact that they were struggling in the current economy.

Significance of the Change

This new change in the measure generally ends alimony either when the payer reaches retirement age or when the recipient has cohabited with a another romantic partner for at least 90 days. With this new law comes a change in how alimony is properly calculated, based on the length of the marriage in question.

This being said the law does still allow judges to award indefinite alimony for long-term marriages. A long-term marriage is defined as a marriage lasting 20 or more years. In the case of short marriages, judges can order “reimbursement alimony” in such situations as when one spouse put the other through school during the length of the marriage.

Why the Change?
This is adjustment to the Massachusetts law was done so to end the previously common practice of judges awarding alimony as a permanent entitlement; such practice is becoming an increasingly rare practice across the U.S because it was seen as highly unjust and unfair. So now, the law sets guidelines for determining the amount of alimony payments. Signed in September 2011, the changes took effect in March 2012, which allows people who are currently paying lifetime alimony to file for modifications starting in 2013.