Going through a divorce can be challenging if your soon-to-be ex was the primary source of income. You might be wondering how you’ll support yourself and your family without your former spouse. Contact a Terre Haute spousal support lawyer to discuss your options.
Alimony, commonly known as maintenance or spousal support, can be ordered by the courts during a divorce. This allows the spouse who earns less money to maintain his or her standard of living and eventually become self-sufficient, at which point the higher-earning spouse will no longer be required to continue providing spousal support.
If you think you deserve alimony from your spouse, or if you are the breadwinner and are expecting to be ordered to pay spousal support, reach out to an experienced Terre Haute alimony lawyer at the Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your impending divorce.
Simply being married and then subsequently going through a divorce doesn’t automatically entitle the lower-earning spouse to alimony payments. In fact, there are only a handful of circumstances in which the spouse who earns more will be obligated to pay spousal support.
A few of these reasons include the following:
- One spouse being without necessary property while retaining custody of a physically or mentally impaired minor whose care prevents the spouse from seeking gainful employment. Here, the judge will determine how long the support will be paid for.
- Rehabilitative support, which is where the lesser-earning spouse will find employment or complete an education or job training. This form of spousal support can last for a maximum of three years.
- If one spouse has a physical or mental condition that will prevent him or her from supporting an accustomed lifestyle financially, the family law judge may impose a maintenance order that will last for the duration of the disabling condition.
The amount to be paid in each case will vary based on work history, wages, education, and job training. The goal is for both spouses to maintain similarly comfortable lifestyles. The support will only end once the agreed-upon time has been reached, if either spouse dies or remarries, or in the event that the paying spouse becomes unemployed.
If your former spouse is going to be paying you alimony while you get on your feet, there are certain steps you may be expected to take. Your capacity to work is critical here, as you might be required to find a full-time job that pays much better and in a different industry than what you currently work, for example.
In some instances, the courts might even be willing to put you into contact with a “vocational evaluator” who will consider the skills you have and how long you’ve been out of the workforce. Their job is to determine which industry might be a good fit for you and secure appropriate training for you.
Refusal to Pay Alimony
When the court issues an order for one spouse to pay alimony to another, the paying spouse becomes obligated to make those payments similarly to child support payments. If a spouse refuses to make these obligatory payments, the court can garnish wages and have the payment sent directly to the receiving spouse.
The judge might also decide to take action against the spouse refusing to pay by putting him or her in jail, with the goal of emphasizing the severity of not making the ordered payments.
How Spousal Support Affects Taxes
A few other details that will be important for you to keep in mind are how your alimony will be affected by taxes. Spousal support is taxable, so the person receiving maintenance will generally claim support as a form of income, while the spouse making payments will claim it as a deduction on federal taxes.
Consult with a Terre Haute Spousal Support Attorney
Needing spousal support doesn’t make you a bad person. When two people whose lives were once intertwined separate, it only makes sense that one of the two might need financial support while adjusting to his or her new life.
If you’d like more information about paying or receiving alimony, contact a talented Terre Haute alimony lawyer with the Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm today. You can schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-812-232-7400 or by filling out the contact form provided at the bottom of this page.