Spousal Maintenance / Alimony
In some divorce cases, a Judge may see fit to award alimony, or spousal maintenance, to one of the spouses. Spousal maintenance is intended to balance the economic consequences of divorce by requiring the higher-earning spouse to provide a certain level of financial support to the lower-earning spouse. Laws governing spousal maintenance vary by state, but courts generally have broad discretion when it comes to determining whether or not to award alimony, how much to award, and for how long.
The Law Office of Jeff Zurbriggen has extensive experience handling complex spousal support cases and can help you maximize your legal rights and options. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
How are alimony awards determined?
Courts take into consideration a number of factors when determining whether to award spousal maintenance. Some of the more common considerations include:
- Length of marriage
- Standard of living established during the union
- Physical, emotional, and financial condition of each spouse
- The financial ability of one spouse to provide support to the other
- Whether one spouse supported the educational opportunities of the other spouse, or gave up a career or career advancement in favor of the other spouse
Spousal maintenance awards are usually not permanent. In fact, many spousal maintenance awards are deemed rehabilitative, which means that the payments must be made only until the recipient spouse becomes self-sufficient. However, not all divorce decrees specify a termination date for spousal maintenance, in which case the payments must be made until a court order rules otherwise. Depending on various circumstances, courts may order spousal maintenance payments be made at specified intervals or in a lump sum.
In the past, spousal maintenance was primarily awarded to housewives who gave up careers to take care of children and the home. Today, this is not necessarily the case. As times have changed, so have the courts and the standards by which spousal maintenance awards are determined.
If spousal support is an issue in your marriage, let us help you. I am a seasoned family law attorney and am dedicated to providing aggressive and effective legal representation to clients. I provide personalized attention to your case, with access to my personal cellular phone and email at any time. We can help you understand the laws that apply to your case and help you plan the best course of action. Please contact the Law Office of Jeff Zurbriggen today for a no-cost consultation with an experienced divorce attorney.