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Everything you wanted to know about alimony

Making the decision to divorce isn't always the easiest, as many Santa Rosa families already know. There are many factors at play that are affected by the dissolution of marriage, so it's important that a family makes the decision that is best for them. When the decision to go ahead with the divorce is put into action, what comes next might feel like foreign territory and often those involved have many questions. When it comes to alimony, how might it impact a divorce and the people involved?

Alimony is a name given to spousal support that defines when one divorced spouse is court-ordered to give regular financial payments to the spouse at a financial disadvantage after a divorce. Not all divorces will result in an alimony determination, but for those that do, it is meant to balance out the financial inequality between divorced spouses. For example, some marriages see an imbalance in personal and career growth in lieu of family life or child-rearing. Alimony can help to bridge the gap for spouses who are at a financial disadvantage after divorce greatly affects their financial situation.

A lot of this has to do with standard of living as well. Most courts allow for some wiggle-room in living standards as what one was accustomed to when a couple was co-habitation versus standards of living when single. However, spouses at a financial disadvantage are not expected to make a massive change in living standards. Alimony helps to close that gap, especially when one spouse does not have the earning potential that their ex-spouse does.

When alimony is awarded, the amount will be finalized in the divorce decree. Either side may litigate for or against alimony, depending on which side they fall. If awarded, the amount awarded will depend on a variety of factors and can be awarded in the short or long term. All of these details will be laid out in the divorce decree.

Source: family.findaw.com, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed July 10, 2017

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