Not every ex- spouse needs to pay divorce alimony, which is also known as spousal maintenance or support. Divorce alimony is granted only when an ex-spouse is not able to support himself or herself without financial assistance from their ex-spouse who can afford to pay it.
Spousal support can be temporary, for example when an ex-spouse requires time and money to brush up her/his skills, complete a degree or certification in order to get back into the job market. Or it could be permanent if an ex-spouse has no probability of becoming financially independent due to age or disability.
If you have been the main financial provider for your family during your married life, it is quite likely that you will have to pay divorce alimony. The techniques and ways for determining whether alimony is appropriate and/or how much alimony an ex-spouse is supposed to pay may vary from court to court.
Let’s Look at a Typical Instance :
The Husband and the Wife met while they were in college. Both graduated from different colleges with bachelor’s degrees in Engineering and bachelor’s degrees in Architecture respectively. Both of them started working immediately after graduation. They got married after completing graduation when the husband and wife both were 24 years old.
The wife stopped working when their first child was born and has been at home taking care of the kids since then. The husband is now 34 years old and earns a handsome salary, while the wife stays at home with their two kids.
Will The Husband Have to Pay Divorce Alimony?
In this case, will the husband have to pay divorce alimony? The simple answer to this question is yes. The Husband will probably have to pay alimony but how much alimony or for how long may vary depending on a number of factors.
The Court Will Usually Consider The Following Factors for Divorce Alimony :
- Marriage duration.
- Financial resources of each spouse.
- Each party’s earning capacity.
- Time needed to obtain training or education to re-enter the workforce.
- Contributions to the family during the marriage.
In today’s market scenario, it is extremely hard to find job, even if you stopped working only a few months ago. If the wife stopped going to office after marriage or after the birth of a kid, the husband has to support her until she is earning enough to support herself. The courts also consider the complexity in getting a job or freelance work while deciding the alimony.
In the scenario above, the wife has the ability earn well as she has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and some work experience. However, she definitely does not have the same earning capacity as the husband, considering that the husband now has a work experience of many years and he already has a job with a company. The wife had to compromise on her career to take care of the family and kids. Therefore, the husband has to pay alimony until she is financially independent.
A court may order temporary alimony while the divorce is still pending. Most divorce alimony is awarded for a particular period of time.
So, if you have been the primary bread winner for your spouse and children and your spouse is not able to support himself/herself financially, it is mandatory for you to pay some kind of spousal support.