Oklahoma Divorce Attorney
Alimony, or “spousal support,” is often a hotly contested issue in divorce. Alimony is support paid by one spouse to the other after the divorce not as a legal right, but more of a remedy for any financial inequality that may exist between the spouses after divorce or during the divorce process. While often a debated topic, it is possible for spouses to come to an agreement on alimony, both regarding the amount and duration of the support to be paid. If spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court will be left to determine spousal support. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on spousal support and other key issues incident to divorce, you may be able to seek an uncontested divorce.
What Are the Different Types of Alimony?
There are several variations that can occur in alimony. First, alimony may come in different forms. Sometimes, alimony will be given in the form of real or personal property. The value of the property is calculated at the time of the divorce. Alimony may also come in the form of a money judgment to be paid in a lump sum or in periodic installments made over time. The form and payment schedule for alimony, if not agreed upon by the divorcing spouses, will be determined by the court based on what is fair and equitable. Additionally, spousal support may be temporary. This is referred to as “spousal maintenance.” It is support paid while a divorce proceeding is pending. This means that the payments would be made from when the divorce action is filed all the way up until the final judgment of divorce is entered. For alimony that is not considered temporary, the court will find what is reasonable under the circumstances to determine the amount and duration of an alimony award. The length of the marriage and the amount of time it will take a supported spouse to become self-supporting are significant factors that the court will weigh in this determination. Other factors include:
- Age of each spouse;
- Income levels;
- Job skills; and
- Ability to secure gainful employment.
Alimony will end automatically under certain circumstances regardless of the duration that is stated in the court’s alimony order. Automatic termination of alimony will occur in the event of the death of the supported spouse. Additionally, alimony will automatically end when a supported spouse remarries. However, the supported spouse has the option to file a motion within 90 days of the date of remarriage to try and have alimony payments continue after remarriage. The supported spouse would need to show that the support is still needed and that continuation of payment would not be unfair under the circumstances.