There’s a lot of talk, nationally, about getting rid of alimony as much as possible. Somehow, people have come to see it as an unnecessary holdover from the days when women didn’t work outside the home.
Does alimony have a place in today’s world, especially when both spouses are capable of working? Is the spouse getting alimony getting a “free ride” for nothing, while the alimony lasts?
Consider the following thoughts:
— Alimony is generally paid to the spouse with the lower income and lower earning power. The odds are high, especially in marriages where both spouses have college degrees, that the spouse with the lower income splits his or her time between work and caring for the home and children.
The odds are also high that the spouse with the lower income has put aside significant money-making opportunities and chances to advance his or her own career based on the idea that the sacrifice was necessary for the family. Refusing alimony to that spouse ignores that sacrifice.
— Dividing up the family assets won’t provide for someone the way that alimony will, even if the assets are significant. While the lower-earning spouse may be getting a number of assets as part of the divorce settlement, those assets aren’t likely to be replenished as they are depleted over time for ordinary expenses.
On the other hand, the spouse with the high-paying job and career can look forward to eventually recovering a lot of those assets through new earnings.
— A lot of alimony is only temporary. Most marriages that end in divorce aren’t so long that the spouse qualifies for permanent alimony unless he or she has an unusual situation — like a disability acquired during the marriage.
Temporary alimony is necessary to help many spouse’s start over — it helps cover the basic expenses of getting a new apartment and utilities, which would be difficult without the alimony. It may also be simply rehabilitative, allowing the spouse time to get back into the workforce and up to his or her earnings potential. Alimony like this keeps newly divorced spouses from ending up in the public welfare system.
Talk to an attorney today to discuss your own situation. If you’d like to know more about how our firm can help you obtain the alimony you deserve, please visit our page.