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What should you consider about alimony for your divorce?

Divorcing couples deserve to understand how to navigate all areas of their marital split. No matter if a person pays or receives alimony, she or he may have questions on the matter.

TIAA takes an in-depth look at alimony. Knowing how payments work helps both parties know which moves to make in their post-divorce lives.

How long do ex-spouses receive/pay alimony?

Spouses may negotiate how long they receive or pay alimony in their divorce agreement. State and federal laws do not determine how long payments last, but professionals suggest using 10 years as a dividing line. If the marriage lasted several decades and one spouse took care of the home while the other advanced her or his career, the person who stayed at home may want more payments.

Do children affect alimony payments?

The only time children factor into alimony payments is when one partner stayed at home to take care of them. Some spouses shuffle their careers to raise a family. Divorcing couples must ensure they keep alimony and child support separate.

How does financial need factor into alimony?

Those going through a divorce must consider their post-divorce financial health. Their monetary obligations, sources of income and career prospects affect alimony payments. Spouses could create a post-divorce budget that accounts for having a single income. That way, they have a better idea of how much to request in alimony payments. Paying spouses could use the budget to determine how much income they have to devote to making payments.

Alimony helps divorcing parties transition to the next phase of life. Spouses deserve to understand how to negotiate for their interests.

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