Photo of attorneys Nicholas A. Jones and Alyssa L. Hawkins

Partners in Criminal Defense

Serving Central Alabama
Photo of attorneys Nicholas A Jones and Alyssa L Hawkins

Spousal support is not a given

When a couple in Alabama gets a divorce, the court may consider granting one party spousal support, or alimony, but it is not automatically guaranteed. There are certain circumstances that need to be present.

Even if a judge does grant support, it may only be temporary. If you are going through a divorce, it is a good idea to understand how alimony works.

Temporary vs permanent alimony

According to the Alabama State Bar, either the wife or the husband may be able to receive spousal support, depending on the situation. If the court grants temporary support, this is only in effect during the time between the divorce filing and the final agreement. The judge grants permanent alimony during the final decree, and this may be one lump sum or installments for a specified period of time.

Factors considered when considering support

According to FindLaw, there are three main factors that the judge looks at: The need for financial support by one party, the ability of the other party to pay support and if the alimony would be equitable. To determine this, the judge will look at the assets awarded to each party, the liabilities of each party, one’s net income or ability to earn a wage, the presence and ages of children and each party’s health and age.

In most circumstances, if the judge awards alimony, the order remains in effect for only as long as the marriage length. If the marriage lasted for 20 years or more, there is no time limit for alimony payments. Either party can request a modification if there is a change in circumstances.

FindLaw Network