Is There a Timeline for Spousal Support?

Is Alimony Forever?  

Normal spousal support timelines

Since the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act was drawn up in 1970, the states have been moving towards alimony which is awarded to support a spouse who lacks the ability to support themselves. It is generally granted for a short time period, in order to give the lower-earning spouse sufficient time to get back on their feet. For example, New York States, that has a prominent alimony law, that the state refers to as “maintenance.”

New York has generally been a bit of a free for all, where judges have the discretion on what support to allow. Now, there is a complex formula which is based on the income of both spouses which is used to calculate a guideline amount. After which, the judge will need to consider the guideline, however, can deviate from it. The amount of money chosen can help rehabilitate a spouse by offering a homemaker support while they look for a job.

Events which cut off spousal support

1. Death is still the most obvious event which would stop support.

2. Another common one is remarriage. This reflects the notion that alimony is in place only to protect a spouse from being financially destitute after a divorce. However, one in a new relationship, alimony will not be needed. This can go above marriage. For example, in Virginia, alimony will stop when it has been determined that a spouse is getting support or has been cohabiting with another person in a relationship which is analogous to a marriage for at least 1 year or more.

3. When the level of income the alimony recipient changes, alimony can also be terminated. Alimony is there to provide support to a financially weaker partner and when they no longer require support, alimony is terminated.

If you are currently filing for divorce in Petaluma, CA and need help with your finances, please do not hesitate to call Law Offices of Marianne F. Skipper now at (707) 658-4566.

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