Couples facing a divorce may wonder if the judge will order one party to pay maintenance to the other. It’s a valid concern. State laws about divorce vary, some alimony may be more likely in some states. As an Alabama resident, it is only normal to wonder if alimony is allowed in Alabama divorces. We will explore that question in this article, with an emphasis on Alabama law.
What is Alimony?
Also called spousal support or maintenance, alimony is “court-ordered payments awarded to a spouse or former spouse within a separation or divorce agreement.” Generally, alimony attempts to allow a divorced spouse the chance to have the same quality of life as when he or she was married.
What Types of Alimony Is Allowed in Alabama?
By law, judges have several options if they decide to award spousal support:
- Temporary spousal support may be granted while a divorce action is pending. The court may allow the support of either spouse from the estate of the other spouse.
- Interim alimony may be allowed if certain conditions are met.
- Rehabilitative or Periodic Alimony may be ordered when a divorce is finalized. This type of spousal support typically will not exceed five years unless the court finds reason to do so. However, there usually is no time limit on alimony for a spouse married more than 20 years. In fact, this type of alimony is sometimes referred to as “forever” alimony.
What Determines Whether Alimony Is Ordered?
The judge looks at a number of factors when deciding whether alimony will be paid and how much, including:
- Whether one party cannot maintain the economic status quo that the parties enjoyed during the marriage.
- If the other party has the economic resources to pay the spousal support if ordered.
- How much the marital estate is worth.
- Whether the parties had individual or separate assets.
- Each party’s earning capacity and expenses.
- Other factors that the judge considers important to the circumstances of the case.
As you might imagine, the issue of alimony can quickly become complicated.
Find Out if Alimony Will Be Allowed in Your Alabama Divorce.
Talk to experienced Alabama attorney Bruce Adams. He knows how to handle his clients’ legal questions and concerns. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment or use our convenient Contact Form. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.