Spousal support, alimony and alimony all refer to the same thing: financial support paid by a higher-earning spouse to a lesser-earning spouse after the marriage has ended.
In Alabama, spousal maintenance is not an automatic right. That means the spouse who wants support after the marriage will have to prove to the court that support is necessary and that the other spouse has the ability to pay.
An experienced family law attorney can be very important in this process.
Ultimately, the judge presiding over the case has the final say over whether alimony should be ordered, and if so, how much should be paid and how long the payments should continue.
In some cases, spousal support is ordered for a limited amount of time while the spouse receiving the payments gets the training or experience necessary to support him or herself. This is known as rehabilitative spousal support or alimony.
In other cases, spousal support is needed on a more permanent basis, such as when age or a disability will prevent one spouse from supporting him or herself indefinitely.
The court considers many factors before issuing or denying spousal support, including: the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the marital standard of living, the general health of the parties and whether the spouse seeking support should be able to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Why should you have to accept a lower standard of living just because you get divorced? In some cases, you might not have to. Talk to an experienced family law attorney in your area about whether you might be entitled to spousal support and how to ask for it.