Alimony or maintenance is defined as the payment of money from one spouse to the other. The purpose of alimony/maintenance is to ultimately allow the person receiving it to become financially self-sufficient. You can receive alimony/maintenance at the same time that you are receiving child support. However, you should know that whatever amounts you receive in alimony/maintenance can (and probably will) reduce how much child support you receive.
Who can receive alimony/maintenance?
Alimony may be awarded to either spouse regardless of their gender. Either spouse may request alimony/maintenance as a part of the divorce; however, if you want to be eligible for alimony you must request it in your Complaint or Answer.
Who is eligible for alimony/maintenance?
The Court will use the following factors in deciding if you are eligible to receive alimony/maintenance:
- The income and property of the respective spouses, including marital property distributed pursuant to equitable distribution.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and health of the respective spouses.
- The present and future earning capacities of both spouses.
- The ability of the person seeking maintenance to become self-supporting.
- Whether there is reduced or lost earning capacity of the person seeking maintenance which resulted from foregoing or delaying training or employment during the marriage.
- The presence of children of the marriage in the respective homes of the spouses.
- The tax consequences to the parties.
- Other contributions and services of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- Whether either spouse has wasted the marital assets (also known as wasteful dissipation of marital assets).
- Transfers made by a spouse in contemplation of the divorce action below market value.
- Any other factor the court determines as being relevant.
The most important factors that the courts are going to consider are going to be the length of the marriage and the income of the spouses.
If you have any further questions about becoming eligible for alimony or are in need of legal advice or representation please contact Bombardo Law Office, P.C.