Spousal Maintenance & Alimony

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is often awarded in divorce cases – sometimes the award is temporary, sometimes indefinite. After your initial consultation, we can advise you whether your case is likely to result in an award of alimony.

Alimony is money that is paid by one spouse as part of the divorce. It is paid independently of child support, and is not a supplement to, or replacement for child support obligations. The court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to award alimony and in what amount.

The parties are of course free to agree on an amount of alimony. If they do not, the court will make this determination, taking into consideration:

    • How long the parties were married
    • The age and earning capacity of the spouse seeking alimony
    • The quality of life the parties were accustomed to while married
    • The spouses ability to pay
    • The contributions of the parties to the marriage

    Alimony payments are typically treated as taxable income to the spouse who receives them, and are tax deductible to the spouse who must pay alimony.

    How long alimony must be paid varies in each case. Generally, alimony payments continue for a set period of time. The payments are intended to give the spouse receiving alimony time to prepare to handle their financial affairs independently. Alimony payments end when the receiving spouse remarries, dies, or the time for payment ends by court order.

    Alimony is not awarded in every case. If you have concerns about whether you may be required to pay alimony, or receive it, please contact us.