Spousal Support / Alimony

Spousal maintenance, spousal support and alimony or all synonyms used to delineate the payment of money from one spouse to the other during or after they are divorced. The avowed purpose of spousal support, alimony or spousal maintenance is to maintain the economic status of the parties as it existed during the marriage. In Alabama, as in most jurisdiction, the issue of spousal maintenance, spousal support and alimony can be handled by agreement by the parties or addressed by the court. The court has considerable discretion in the evaluation and award of these benefits and the factors proper for consideration numbers in the dozens. Some of the more important factors considered include the education, earning ability and earning history of the parties, the standard of living of the parties, the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay and absorb such payments and yes, conduct and fault in the breakup of the marriage. The importance of these factors often depends upon the jurisdiction and the judge you find yourself before.

Spousal Maintenance is not a Right

Spousal maintenance, spousal support or alimony must never be assumed. Courts decide whether to award money, and how much, on a case-by-case basis. The person paying the money is called the "supporting spouse," and the recipient of that money is known as the "dependent spouse."

The payment itself may be temporary or permanent. Another name for temporary alimony is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is money paid to help the ex-spouse to become self-supporting. Permanent spousal maintenance, or alimony, is usually awarded to individuals who seem unlikely to obtain employment, and it is paid until death or until the order is modified. There has recently been new legislation in Alabama addressing the award of spousal support or alimony and delineating specific guidelines to be followed by a court when considering alimony, whether that alimony is rehabilitative or permanent, the consideration of temporary issues, including awards of attorney fees, the length of the marriage and the length of time any such support should be filed. There is also a provision requiring specific wording for longer term alimony and specific written findings by the court. This new legislation will lead to a significant wave of appeals until all of its terms and applications are defined and addressed largely through appellate litigation.

Alabama Spousal Maintenance Attorney

The court considers many different factors when calculating spousal maintenance. Some of these factors include age, general health, the standard of living of the parties before they got divorced, the length of the marriage, the education and employment history of the parties, the jobs the parties have at the time of the divorce, their future prospects, assets and the value of each spouses “estate” and again, sometimes a very significant factor, conduct and fault in the breakup of the marriage. The degree to which each of these factors have sway in the outcome is a function not just of the individual fact pattern itself but the jurisdiction and judge that will ultimately hear and decide the case. Knowledge of the trier of fact, in this case the judge assigned to your case, is possibly the largest factor when evaluating a potential settlement offer and when deciding the strategy for presenting your case to the court in the most favorable light.

Divorce lawyer, Shane Oncale, is an experienced professional who can give you a candid assessment of your prospects and hope you evaluate and develop a strategy for the settlement or trial of your case. There is no substitution for a strong and well thought out strategy, plan, preparation, theme and theory for your case with the focus on the Judge who will ultimately hear your case if it canot be resolved.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

Spousal support, spousal maintenance and alimony if an issue in your case, can impact your economic status for many years. If you are facing a claim for spousal maintenance, spousal support or alimony, contact The Oncale Firm today. We have been part of hundreds of such cases over the years, and we have negotiated or litigated cases making these types of claims in jurisdictions throughout the state including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Birmingham, Bessemer, Columbiana and Pell City.

Lawyer Shane Oncale is an experienced spousal support attorney. Call The Oncale Firm at (205) 458-9805 to arrange a free consultation.

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