The idea of alimony has been around since about 1745 BC. During those early days, alimony or spousal support made a lot of sense. Back then women didn’t work and many of them were not educated. They were to remain at home and take care of the children and household duties. That has since changed, because modern women are a part of the workforce. For some families, the woman is the primary breadwinner, earning a higher income than her husband.

If you have any questions on alimony allocation, contact Wilmington family lawyers for advice.

Why Does Alimony Exist?

Alimony is a payment made by one spouse to the other upon divorce. It allows for the lower or no income earning spouse to maintain a similar lifestyle to the one he/she had during the marriage. When you are undergoing a divorce, your case will fall into any of the categories below:

·         No alimony will be paid: Both divorce parties are financially independent

·         Post Separation Support will be paid: Here, the spouse with a higher income pays post separation support until alimony is granted, denied, or dismissed

·         Alimony will be paid for a specific amount of time: Here, the spouse with a higher income pays alimony for a set number of months or years

·         Permanent alimony will be paid: Permanent spousal applies when one party can prove the marriage derailed their work life and they can’t support themselves financially. E.g., if the wife gave up job opportunities to raise the kids, while her husband worked, permanent alimony will be awarded. Permanent spousal support may also apply if one spouse has a disability that prevents them from working

Alimony is widely debated across the United States. Although more and more young people are fighting for the abolishment of alimony, the older generations deem it necessary.

Is Alimony Necessary?

An increasing number of people are starting to question whether alimony is still necessary. The answer is both yes and no. Permanent spousal support is becoming less necessary as more women and men further their studies and get well-paying jobs. However, spousal support might still be necessary for some couples. If the mother or father foregoes their career to become a stay at home parent, they’ll likely require financial assistance. However, after the dependent spouse finds a job and is earning an income, the alimony should be halted.

Another debate that’s gaining momentum is the amount that one ex-spouse should pay to the other. The alimony payment is usually approximately 30% of the income of the higher-earning spouse. But, in some cases the ex-spouse pays over 50% of their income.

Essentially, determining whether alimony should be paid should come down to what is just. Spousal support was started in an effort to help guard an ex-spouse that’s unable to support himself or herself financially. It should be paid when it’s required and the payments should cease when it’s no longer necessary. The purpose of alimony is not to punish one party for a wrongdoing or because they earn more than the other.

Are you seeking more information on alimony or looking to modify your current spousal support, contact Speaks Family Law. The lawyers at our firm can give you advice on how the law applies for alimony and the steps to take.