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Those who are going through a divorce may have to eventually delegate over alimony payments. Alimony may also be referred to as “spousal support” or “maintenance”. The intention of alimony is to financially support the spouse who may now suffer challenges as a result of the separation. Trying to arrive at an agreement over alimony can be quite difficult, in which turbulent emotions and resentments may bubble to the surface. The ending of a marriage can be devastating enough, so having to go through the added dispute of alimony can feel overwhelming. It is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to seek legal help from a family law lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA, like from Robinson & Hadeed, during this process. 

Here in the article below, we have provided information about alimony that every former spouse should know about amidst divorce. 

Are alimony laws the same across every state?

The laws pertaining to alimony during divorce may not be the same across all states. Depending on where you live, there may be certain laws that can affect how much and for how long alimony must be paid. If two former spouses cannot reach an agreement about alimony, a judge may have to make the final decision. 

Are there any other options besides going to court over alimony terms?

Yes, the separating couple can attend mediation to try and find a solution for alimony terms. Mediation is when a third party is present to help the couple navigate the conversation about alimony, and hopefully arrive at an agreement which both are satisfied with. Even the most at-odds couples may be able to set aside their differences to reach a middle ground regarding alimony, to prevent from having the judge make the decision for them. By attending mediation instead of court, it can also save the couple a substantial amount in legal fees. 

What factors may a judge consider when making an alimony verdict? 

If the couple does not want to attend mediation or the sessions are unsuccessful, then a judge may have the final say regarding alimony conditions. There are several factors that a judge may take into consideration when making his or her decision, including the following: 

  • How long the couple was married 
  • The age of both spouses
  • How much financial support the receiving spouse needs, and the paying spouse’s ability to make these payments
  • The health of both spouses (mental, physical and emotional wellbeing)
  • The type of living standard that was established during the marriage
  • Which spouse takes primary care of the shared children 
  • The earning potential of both spouses and their level of education

What if the spouse receiving alimony gets remarried?

If the spouse who was awarded alimony payments gets married to someone else, this may be grounds for modifying alimony terms. When the spouse making alimony payments finds out about the new marriage, he or she can file for the alimony to be changed. Depending on your state laws, new alimony conditions of a lower amount may be established or alimony may be terminated automatically.