4 Common Misconceptions about How Alimony Works

Many people have the wrong idea of how alimony works in a divorce settlement, but it’s important to have a firm understanding of the truths associated with how alimony works.

1. People Think Alimony is Permanent

How long someone gets alimony depends on their financial situation. A partner who is in a marriage for many years may be awarded alimony for as long as their spouse lives. In another case, a person might get alimony from a spouse until they remarry. Usually, a spouse is awarded alimony until they can get back on their feet financially.

2. Alimony is Only for Wives

There are people who still believe in outdated traditional gender roles where the man always makes more money than the wives do. The woman is still seen as the homemaker and the child caregiver. If the woman has a job, it is considered a small job that brings in far less than the man does. Today, it does not matter whether the husband or the wife has the most financial stability. Whichever spouse, regardless of gender, is the least financially stable is the one who will receive alimony from the spouse who is financially stable.

3. Original Terms Stay the Same

Some people believe that once the courts set the amount of payment a spouse receives, it will always be that way. Alimony should not be treated as a monthly paycheck. A few times a year, the alimony decision can be modified for many reasons.

  • The Spouse Makes More Money than They Did When the Alimony Was Originally Set Up
  • Alimony can be Reduced from What Alimony Originally Was
  • Alimony can be Canceled Altogether

4. It’s a Punishment for the Person who Filed for the Divorce

Many people believe that money is a settlement for the divorce that the person who filed for divorce has to pay. They think the person who wronged their spouse should have to pay the price. Alimony is made available to the spouse who is in financial need regardless of who filed for the divorce. Alimony means that just because a married couple is not together anymore, does not mean the couple should not care for each other. These are four of perhaps many alimony myths that need to be debunked.

Divorce laws, including alimony, are decided by the state. Some states, such as North Carolina, are no-fault divorce states. The law in a no-fault divorce state requires that couples seeking a divorce should separate and be apart for one year before deciding to go through the divorce process. It varies in different states and situations. In Irvine, California, couples who are legally separated can look into child custody if a child or more is involved in the marriage. Dealing with things will be easier for both parties with the help of an Irvine family law attorney. Now, separation is the time to really give some thought to whether or not the couple is interested in ending the relationship permanently or getting back together and seeking counseling. At the beginning of considering marriage, because nobody can be absolutely sure marriage will succeed, no-fault divorce states are in favor and encourage prenup agreements before getting married.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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