In recent years, the issue of alimony has become more contentious than ever. With more women in the workforce earning significant salaries, there are now more questions about how to handle alimony when a marriage ends.
Alimony Is Not Based on Gender
In today’s society, gender roles are ever-evolving, and the traditional power dynamics have changed. Men still pay alimony more often, but this scenario isn’t always true anymore.
When a woman out-earns her husband, she may be responsible for paying alimony in a divorce.
What Determines an Alimony Decision?
The court will consider many factors when making an alimony ruling, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s current income
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Each spouse's future earning capacity, including their age, job history, education, physical disabilities, and so on
Gender is relevant only in how it directly impacts the above standards. For instance, if the lesser-earning spouse is a man, but he has promising opportunities in a male-led field, that impacts his earning capacity. Otherwise, gender has no bearing on how a court should consider who gets alimony.
Keep Up With Your Payments!
If you have been ordered to pay alimony, falling behind with your payments could result in serious consequences. Those who fail to pay can suffer wage garnishment or even jail time.
Remember that alimony payments are court-ordered. It doesn’t matter if you think the ruling is unfair. The court is serious about ensuring your payments are current and on time.
Act quickly if a payment misses its mark. Don't let yourself fall into arrears, and stay ahead of this important obligation.
Modifying Alimony Payments
If your circumstances change, you may be able to have your payments altered.
Grounds for spousal support modifications include:
- Your ex remarries.
- Getting laid off or demoted through no fault of your own.
- An injury or another similar event affects your ability to work.
- Your ex earns significantly more money than before, lessening the need for support.
Altering payments requires filing a petition with the court of jurisdiction. Then you must provide evidence verifying the change in circumstance. Once the court has reviewed the paperwork, it may require a hearing that includes both parties.
Speak With a Good Attorney
Divorce is a difficult, emotional journey. Seeking the right advice can mean the difference between a successful outcome and a prolonged battle. An experienced attorney will overlook your situation and give you individualized advice.
Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. knows about local and state laws, and we can help guide you during this difficult time. The best outcome is a fair spousal support payment, regardless of gender. Let us help you find a solution that both helps the spouse who needs it and isn’t an overdue burden on the payor.
For a free consultation, reach out to our office online or call us today at (407) 753-4111.