Who makes the decision on whether you should receive alimony?

Adjusting to life after divorce is not easy for most people. After years of living with someone, raising kids together and splitting household responsibilities, it takes some time to make the transition into doing these things as an individual. This transition can be especially difficult if you are also dealing with financial hardships.

If you are in this situation, or expect to be after you divorce, then it is important that you understand your option to collect spousal support. As we discuss below, there are a few different ways you can pursue alimony.

Alimony awarded by the courts

You can request alimony from the courts. In accordance with state alimony laws, a court will consider several factors before awarding or denying a move for alimony. These factors include things like how long you were married, the non-financial contributions made to the marriage and each person’s earning capacity.

Broadly speaking, the courts will award alimony when there is a need for it and the other person has the ability to pay it. Payments can be made for a specific period of time or indefinitely, depending on the specific circumstances.

Determining alimony in a prenup

You can make a decision on alimony before you ever get married by addressing it in a prenuptial agreement. As long as the prenup is valid, the courts will enforce the decisions you and your ex made in that document.

Agreeing to alimony during mediation

In some cases, divorcing spouses are able to come to an agreement regarding alimony during mediation. Working through this issue outside of court can save time and money, and it allows you and your ex to find a resolution on your own. However, it can be all but impossible to do this if you and your ex do not agree that there is a need for spousal support.

Know your legal options and rights

No matter how you intend to resolve alimony issues, it is crucial that you understand your rights and protect them with the help of an attorney. Your financial future could depend on it.

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