Maintaining the Standard of Living Even after Divorce through Alimony

Ending a marriage through divorce does not leave the divorcing spouses without further responsibility towards each other. The well-being of each, especially financially-wise, will have to be ascertained first so that neither of the spouses will be made to live a financially-burdensome life.

State courts always see to it that divorcing couples, and their child/children (if they have any), continue to enjoy the standard of living that they lived during marriage. Thus, if one of the spouses gave up all opportunities for economic and professional growth for the sake of his/her spouse and ends up, after divorce, with limited opportunities of being able to earn enough to support him/her self, then alimony will be ordered by the court to be paid on his/her behalf.

Traditionally, women were the ones who were always granted alimony since it was customary that care of the home was their concern; the man, the father of the house, was tasked to support his children and his wife who, in turn, took care of all his needs.

Circumstances in the lives of both husband and wife have changed though, that the present time even renders women capable of earning much more than men. With this change is a possible change in the recipient of alimony too – from women only in the past, to either husband or wife in the present.

Alimony is monetary payment made by one spouse to his/her former partner. It is a court mandate intended to allow the recipient spouse to maintain his/her standard of living during the process of divorce and after it. Its name has been changed to spousal support or spousal maintenance, though, since its recipient today is no longer exclusively the wife.

States differ in their laws regarding spousal support. Despite the differences, there are common factors that judges consider after having determined if support, indeed has to be paid, who should pay it, and how much and how long the payment should be. Some of these factors include the need of the recipient, health and age of spouses, length of marriage, ability to pay, educational level of spouses, child support and standard of living during marriage.

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