When is Alimony Appropriate?

Gavel and money

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.

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