Lawyers Authority

Common Misconceptions Surrounding Alimony Payments

It’s truly amazing how many couples who are divorcing receive information and guidance from others, only to find they are provided with some misinformation and false notions, especially in the area of spousal support, or alimony. And if you Google alimony, you’re going to find a myriad of false information and come to your own conclusion. Unfortunately, the conclusion you may arrive at will be significantly different than the reality of it all. Here, we’d like to provide you with a few myths surrounding the subject of spousal support as you go through the divorce process.

Myth Number One: That Men Generally Pay It

It’s amazing how many people think that only the men have to pay spousal support. Spousal support is not based on gender, it’s specifically based on who earned more during the marriage. If both the husband and wife earned the same amount of money, no one will have to make alimony payments. It is possible to have spousal support waived, unlike child support which is mandated by law and can only be waived if both parents agree to it, or if both parties take on equal joint custody.

The court will look at the lifestyle that each party has become accustomed to since the marriage was established. It is the court’s intention to make sure that both parties in the marriage still continue to live that type of lifestyle if this is at all possible. The court will also look at factors, such as if one parent quit his or her job in order to stay home and raise the children. Remember, there are plenty of men that choose to be the stay-at-home parent.

Myth Number Two: Alimony Lasts a Lifetime

The recipients of alimony usually think that the are entitled to those payments for the rest of their life. However, indefinite spousal support is generally awarded to someone who was in a long-term marriage and there was a significant difference in the incomes. Indefinite spousal support can be changed by the court at any time, and the court can also choose to end it, especially if the recipient has been able to go out and find themselves a full-time self-supporting job.

Myth Number Three: Quitting a Job Can Prevent the Payment of Support

If you quit your job to avoid paying alimony, the court may assume that you are capable of earning an income that you had earned in previous years. The court looks at this in order to make certain that both parties are treated fairly and make sure that both parties are being honest about their income. If the court finds someone has been dishonest about his or her earning capabilities, the court will make sure that person receives a punishment as a result.

Every case has its own set of facts so every case will be different. What happens in your friend’s divorce is most likely not going to happen in yours. This is why it’s very important to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney Arizona.


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