When deciding to end a marriage, the only path forward is a divorce. The process has a bad reputation for causing once-loving couples to fight relentlessly. However, this does not have to everyone’s experience.
The most contentious divorce scenarios happen because the couple is perhaps unaware of what to expect moving forward. Things may catch them by surprise, such as how much money they stand to lose either by income or property division. There are a few common support orders that are requested during the divorce process, as divorce lawyers can explain. Knowing more about these payments may help keep tension from running high when broached in the mediation room.
Alimony is a bad word in many circles among those who have been through a divorce. Also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, the awarding of alimony is done on a case-by-case basis. Alimony is usually not asked for or awarded in marriages that only last a few years. Many courts will only consider alimony if the marriage lasted at least 10 years, or there is compelling evidence that it is necessary. Some reasons why alimony may be ordered in shorter marriages include:
- One spouse makes much more than the other
- One spouse does not have employment due to medical or child-rearing reasons
- One spouse has a larger amount of pre-marital assets
Alimony is not a support order that lasts forever. In fact, most states that used to have a life-time alimony statute are slowly eliminating it. However, in those that still do, lifetime alimony is typically only awarded in extreme circumstances. For instance, if spouses have been married for decades or one is too sick to obtain employment. Typically, alimony payments last half the duration of the marriage.
Another common support order is one for child support. In fact, a child support order may be requested even if you were never married to the other parent. The most common time to request the court issue this is during a divorce, however. The process involves gathering both parties’ income and calculating each parent’s fair share of the cost of caring for children. Child support orders usually continue until the date of a child reaching 18 years of age or graduating high school. Some states allow child support orders to continue through college or until marriage.
With so many variables and requirements, you might want to consider calling a child support lawyer should you need to obtain an order for support. Their guidance through the process may prove to be less costly than you think.