Alimony and Divorce Basics

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No one plans for divorce when getting married. The statistics say that around half of marriages will result in divorce at some point in their lives. That means 1 in every 2 people will need a lawyer in the future to represent their divorce case. If you or a friend or family member is heading towards divorce, it can help to get advice from a lawyer from the very start. A lawyer can protect your interests during one of the most complicated and sensitive legal processes. With emotions running high and worries for the future, it makes sense that someone would find reassurance from a lawyer who is familiar with divorce cases. 

How do I know whether I will have to pay alimony?

Spousal support, or otherwise called alimony, is not automatically enforced in most states. However, it can be ordered by a court judge based on specific circumstances. If a spouse is going to endure significant hardships without monetary support, then spousal support is likely to be considered. The ultimate deciding factor depends on what degree the spouse needs help in order to have a reasonable standard of living. The law does recognize that a spouse should not be compulsory as a result of the marriage ending. Alimony is unlikely to be approved if any of the following apply:

  • Both spouses are self-sufficient and employed
  • The duration of the marriage was less than 2-3 years
  • If the spouses can agree on alimony, then it would just need final approval from the family court judge

What does a marital settlement agreement consist of?

Essentially, a settlement agreement for divorce is going to list the terms of the separation. These terms often cover property division, plans for children, alimony, child custody, and other issues that are relevant for their divorce. The spouses can either arrange the terms of the settlement between themselves, or have a family court judge decide for them. Most spouses will be motivated to be amicable when they realize that it’s either they reach a solution together, or a court judge who isn’t in their shoes will be deciding for them.

Does reconciliation happen and can a divorce be cancelled?

Yes, marriage reconciliation does and can happen. and your spouse can cancel the divorce even if papers have been already filed. What you would need to do is request a divorce dismissal from the county clerk before a judgement has been entered. The court may send each spouse paperwork to complete, in which both would have to sign the divorce dismissal form. 

Anyone who has ever said that divorce was easy has probably never actually been through one. Thankfully, there are legal professionals who understand how difficult this life transition can be, even when things are amicable. Consider reaching out to a divorce attorney for insight if you anticipate divorce is on the horizon.