Alimony is ordered when there is a demonstrated need shown by one spouse AND the other spouse has the resources to pay alimony. Most common cases for alimony are where one parent has a full-time career and the other parent gives up a career to stay home with the children. However, these are not the only circumstances when alimony can be granted. Some other scenarios include:
- A spouse obtains a degree, especially a professional degree, while the other spouse provides support. The spouse who earned the degree may be responsible for supporting the other spouse
- A spouse who loses a job and then stays home because the parties decide that they can make ends meet with one income and they are best served if the unemployed party stays at home
- One spouse works while the other spouse pursues a hobby or an idea, like a new business or an invention. The supporting spouse may be responsible for continuing support until the other party can become self-sufficient
- One spouse has significantly higher income than the other, resulting a huge disparity lifestyle without alimony. Most commonly you see this with the extremely wealthy, but it can occur on a smaller scale with every day people
Alimony is a very complicated issue which requires a balancing between many different factors. It is important to seek the guidance of an attorney if you believe alimony is appropriate in your situation.