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How to Get Alimony

by eHow Relationships & Family Editor

Alimony, or "spousal support," goes a long way towards easing the transition from married to divorced. It is an income paid to one spouse by the other when the marriage has ended. The husband traditionally paid alimony to the wife, but in recent years, the wife may pay support. If your situation fits the criteria, here's how you can get your soon-to-be-ex to "show you the money!"

Prove that the standard of living to which you've become accustomed. For example, if you routinely get a weekly massage, or you have a weekly maid service and have for years, it is reasonable to ask that your spouse continue paying for the expenses.

Demonstrate your contribution, if not monetary, as a homemaker or parent. Your role in the marriage has value. Note any contributions you made to the career or education of your spouse.

Provide information about earning capacity, other income, such as interest, dividends, and capital gains of your spouse. Bank records and income tax records are the best proof of income earned.

Negotiate with your partner first to determine the amount of support and length of alimony payments. Depending on many factors, alimony might be paid for a year or two, or "for life" unless the recipient remarries or cohabitates with a new partner.

Involve the judge to review the situation if you and your partner cannot come to terms. A judge will consider any factor presented by either side when determining the amount of alimony and length of time of alimony payments.

Consider taking a life and disability insurance policy on your ex-spouse. As an "interested party" you are allowed to do this. In the event the payor is disabled or dies, the policy would cover the terms of the maintenance income you've been awarded.

Tips

  • Alimony must be paid in cash, not in property or debt.
  • Spousal support is taxable income. Consult a CPA about filings.
  • Alimony must be provided for in the divorce agreement. Any other sort of arrangement is not "alimony" per its legal definition.
  • Spousal support awarded prior to the divorce is "pendente lite" alimony and is not a credit towards the findings and decisions of the final divorce decree.

Warning

  • Alimony is not awarded if the parties live in the same residence.