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Alimony States

Alimony States


When a couple separate, often alimony payments are awarded as part of the divorce settlement. All states in the US are alimony states, meaning that they have laws specifying how such payments are evaluated and awarded. These guidelines can very extensively. Here are a few things to keep in mind when estimating how much alimony you may request or be liable for.


Types of alimony


Not all alimony states laws allow the same kind of payments. Some types of settlement that can be requested include:


• Permanent payments that will continue until the spouse receiving them dies or remarries. Many states have already put a legislative end to this kind of alimony.

• Temporary alimony sets a monthly sum to be paid for a fixed interval of spouse.

• Rehabilitative alimony sets a monthly sum to be paid while the spouse receiving payment undertakes the necessary training or education to become self-sustaining.

• Lump-sum alimony is a one-time payment of cash or property awarded to one spouse after a divorce. In this case, parties will be unlikely to request further alimony later on.


Every state has different laws about what kinds of alimony can be awarded and on what basis. Alimony states laws sometimes permit judges to take into account anything they find relevant to the case. However, in many states judges are directed to only take a limited number of factors. These can include:


• The duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during that time

• Marital misconduct, such as adultery

• Both parties’ employability

• The combined incomes and assets of both spouses

• Gross inequality between the two parties’ respective financial status

• How much time a spouse needs to become self-sustaining

• Both parties’ age and mental and physical health

• Prenuptial agreements

• Child custody payments


Some alimony states laws include official guidelines and tables used to calculate payments, using such information as income tax forms and work pay stubs to establish what a justifiable payment under the circumstances would be. The best option for all couples is to try to draft a written separation agreement to present in family court detailing a mutually satisfactory payment plan. This will help both spouses avoid the possibility of a judge’s ruling that is unsatisfactory to either party.


It is not necessary to retain the services of a lawyer in order to be compliance with all alimony states laws. Couples who agree to cooperate can use online templates to create a legally binding document. If there are official guidelines and tables to be used, take these into consideration but do not feel bound by them. As long as a payment plan is submitted that is not inequitable, financially ruinous to the person making payment or otherwise unjust, most courts will agree to approve a payment other than the default state amount. The final authority in approving or setting alimony rates ultimately always belongs to the family court judge hearing the case.