Alimony is often one of the most contentious factors in a divorce. Most people understand the need to support their children once they no longer have full custody but paying alimony to an ex-spouse can come along with emotional resistance.
It’s important to make sure that you qualify for alimony if you plan to ask for it in the negotiation process. In Alabama, alimony is awarded based on fairness, so you need to show that you require financial support following your divorce.
What Are the Alimony Requirements in Alabama?
Alimony in Alabama is intended to support a dependent spouse while they find another way to support themselves after a divorce. Interim or temporary alimony might be awarded if there is a need for support during the divorce proceedings.
There are three basic requirements for alimony eligibility in Alabama:
- Your marriage must be valid
- You must need the support
- Your spouse must be able to pay support to you without hardship
If you have enough income on your own, you are unlikely to qualify for alimony. Your spouse’s ability to pay will be calculated with other financial obligations, such as child support, in mind.
The judge will also take the other terms of the divorce settlement into account, such as the division of property and debts. Child custody might also be a factor—if you are caring for young children and it will be difficult for you to work, you might be more likely to get alimony.
How Long Can I Get Alimony Payments?
In Alabama, alimony payments are usually limited to five years, except under extraordinary circumstances. If alimony is part of your divorce settlement, you should receive a payment each month for up to five years.
It’s important to note that alimony can end early. If you remarry, for example, your ex-spouse is no longer obligated to pay alimony.
Temporary alimony ends when the divorce is finalized. At that point, standard rehabilitative alimony payments should replace temporary alimony.
Will the Court Award Me Alimony?
Very few divorces end in the courtroom. Most people are able to reach an agreement through simple negotiations or mediation. This allows the divorcing parties to have more control over the process. It also reduces the costs involved.
However, there are some cases that cannot be resolved through collaboration. Sometimes, the situation is simply too contentious. When the divorcing couple is unable to agree, the court will make the final decision on alimony payments.
To learn more about alimony and your eligibility, give our Birmingham law firm a call at (205) 858-9224. Our experienced divorce attorneys can advise you and answer any questions you might have.