When most Alabama residents get married, they hope their relationship will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as shown by the divorce rates in the state. When a divorce occurs, it brings about a number of issues, including child custody, property division and spousal support issues.
Indeed, the rates are somewhat surprising, as Alabama has the fourth highest divorce rate in the nation. By these statistics, Alabama citizens are more likely to get a graduate degree than they are to have a long marriage.
While not all married couples have children or significant assets, one issue that may arise is the issue of spousal support or alimony.
There are many factors that may be considered in determining whether to award alimony. One such factor relates to the statistics above, the length of the marriage. Alimony is typically deemed rehabilitative, meaning it is intended to help one spouse become self-supporting. Accordingly, for couples who have been married for a longer period of time, it may take longer for a spouse to become self-supporting.
In other words, a spouse may have to pay spousal support for a longer period of time. In most cases, alimony payments cease upon the other spouse’s remarriage. Otherwise, the divorce decree may set a termination date or the payments will continue until the court orders otherwise.
There are a number of other factors to consider in awarding alimony. Accordingly, it is best in most situations to enlist the aid of a qualified family law attorney who can help determine whether alimony is appropriate.
Source: CBS 42, “Practicing what you preach,” Nov. 12, 2012