What Is Fair Alimony ?   

Alimony is one of the most volatile issues in divorce settlement, even more complicated than the custodial disputes.

One reason that alimony causes so much trouble is there are no practical guidelines for lawyers and judges to follow. Apart from this alimony laws vary from state to state and each case varies from other. Thus, there is very little consistency in alimony settlement and most cases end up in spousal conflict.

A fair alimony is typically the amount that would allow the spouse to continue living in similar fashion that existed prior to the divorce. If the spouses cannot come to agreement on the amount of spousal support to be paid, for what duration, and under what conditions mutually then the court will decide and settle the issue for you. How do you know how much maintenance to pay or to demand? There are well established parameters, the court looks at these factors to determine the minimum amount to be paid.

When the marital settlement agreement is made, get the following clauses included in your separation agreement to avoid any future conflicts:

  • The minimum support amount to be paid.
  • Whether it will be paid in lump sum or in monthly installments.
  • The name and address of receiving spouse.
  • Insurance policies and medical coverage.
  • Payment assurance.
  • Recourse if payments are not made.

Apart from this the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act (UMDA), which many states use as a model, recommends that local court must consider the following factors while granting alimony so that the entire process of separation becomes fair and transparent. The age, physical condition, and emotional state of the recipient spouse, the standard of living the couple had maintained during the marriage term, the duration of marriage, the financial status of the payer and his other sources of income and the time required for education or job training of the recipient spouse.

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