Alimony considerations often arise in divorce proceedings. For those seeking alimony, it can provide a financial lifeline—especially if you financially depend on your spouse. Alimony isn’t always fair, though. Sometimes it saddles the higher earner in a relationship with large monthly payments. Whether you’re seeking alimony or hoping to reduce your alimony obligation, we can help.
The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates provides legal representation to clients facing divorce. We can assess your situation and navigate the divorce process, including alimony decisions. Contact our offices today to learn more about how an Athens alimony lawyer can help.
Table of Contents
- Why Hire an Alimony Lawyer
- What Is Alimony?
- Child Support Vs. Alimony
- File Your Divorce and Negotiate Your Alimony in Athens
- Does the Type of Divorce Affect Alimony?
- Contact a Athens Alimony Lawyer Today
Why Hire an Alimony Lawyer From Our Firm?
Alimony can frequently prove contentious. Your partner might dispute suggested alimony payments.
An alimony lawyer from our firm can:
- Review the specifics of your case
- Fight for a favorable case outcome
- Manage communications with your partner’s legal team
- Advise you on the specifics of your case
Attorney Charlotte Christian founded our firm. She was born and raised in Alabama and received a degree in trial advocacy from the James E. Beasley School of Law. She built a firm dedicated to its clients. We prioritize compassion and kindness and can gladly guide you through a divorce.
Our Team Can Pursue the Best Possible Outcome for Your Case
We believe that you deserve a fair alimony determination. Without alimony, you may struggle to pay your bills or support yourself without your partner. However, these fears shouldn’t prevent you from seeking a fresh start. Alimony can function as a holdover that sustains you as you begin a new life.
On the other hand, we also represent people who want to protect themselves against unfair alimony payments. We can find evidence to assert your financial well-being when alimony is unnecessary.
Regardless of your situation, we fight for our clients from start to finish.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony—also known as spousal support—refers to financial support paid by one spouse after a divorce. Historically, wives often received alimony payments under Alabama common law. Now, though, a wife or husband can claim alimony.
How Much Are Alimony Payments?
The judge assigned to your case will oversee the determination of alimony. These payments vary from case to case.
The judge typically considers these factors to calculate an alimony payment amount:
- A couple’s income: A considerable gap in earnings between both parties could encourage a judge to grant alimony. For example, if one partner earned $25,000 a year and the other earned $150,000, spousal support could level out the gap.
- Earning capacity: If one party voluntarily avoided work while married, they could get less, if any, alimony. A judge will consider each party’s earning potential. If one party could make more money than they were, this could affect their potential alimony.
- Marriage length: Long-term marriages receive alimony orders more frequently than short-term marriages.
- The couple’s age: The couple’s age also matters when calculating alimony. Alimony orders can reflect that it’s more difficult to re-enter the workforce at an advanced age.
To fully understand your case, a judge may also consider the facts of your divorce. For example, infidelity in a relationship could impact alimony payments, as could abuse. Your health status and your highest degree of education also represent important factors.
Different Types of Alimony
Three types of alimony exist, including:
- Temporary alimony: A spouse can receive temporary alimony during and after divorce proceedings. It typically concludes once the lower-earning spouse secures a job to cover their living expenses.
- Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony continues indefinitely after the conclusion of a divorce. This type of alimony is less common than temporary alimony. It usually applies to cases where one spouse has a disability or cannot work.
- Lump-sum alimony: Lump-sum alimony payments occur once. Once paid, no further alimony obligations exist. The courts can order the higher-earning spouse to pay lump-sum alimony during or after divorce proceedings. These payments can help cover the divorce’s legal fees and other expenses.
Our team understands alimony proceedings. We can advise you on which alimony you deserve. Similarly, don’t feel concerned if you hear the terms rehabilitative alimony or interim alimony. They both refer to different types of temporary alimony.
It’s important to note that alimony payments depend on both parties’ financial circumstances. For instance, Alabama law mandates that alimony should end if one of the receiving partners gets married or moves in with a partner. Changes in employment or financial status can affect these payments, as well.
Is Alimony Taxable?
No, as of 2019, you do not need to pay taxes on alimony payments. However, those paying alimony no longer benefit from a tax deduction. This means that if you’re paying alimony, you cannot write these payments off on your taxes.
If you’re concerned about the status of your alimony and its potential tax burdens, consider seeking legal advice. An Athens alimony lawyer can break down the different types of alimony you may receive and their respective tax burdens.
Is Child Support the Same Thing as Alimony?
No, child support and alimony are not the same. A party can face obligations to pay both child support and alimony.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support calculations use a model called income shares.
The Alabama Judicial System outlines this model. It considers:
- The income of each parent
- The living standard of the child
- The custody of the child
Income shares can create an equitable distribution of child support. In other words, the courts don’t use child support payments to punish a spouse.
These factors can affect the distribution of child support:
- Which parent takes care of the child
- Transportation costs to visit the child
- Education expenses
- Medical bills
Child support payments are legally required. If your partner fails to pay child support, you can file a motion against them. In addition, they could face criminal penalties if they continue to avoid child support payments.
Can You Adjust Child Support?
You can change child support payments to reflect financial and life changes. The courts have the final say in these adjustments.
Their guidelines include:
- You must provide evidence that proves the need for child support changes.
- Child support changes will go into effect after the modification.
Like alimony, child support payments are need-based, so the court can review these payments at any time. If you believe your child support is insufficient, consider consulting an alimony lawyer from our team; they can explain your options.
We Can File Your Divorce and Negotiate Your Alimony in Athens
Filing a divorce in Alabama involves a multi-step process. Before you begin, you must review Alabama’s residency guidelines.
Alabama law outlines these requirements:
- To file a claim against your spouse, you must show you or your partner lived in Alabama for at least six months.
- If your partner lives outside the state, you must meet the six-month residency guideline.
- Gathering Documentation
After you ensure that you meet the residency guidelines, you can file a divorce claim against your spouse.
To file this claim, you need:
- Your name and your partner’s name
- Your and your spouse’s ages
- The ages and names of your children, if applicable
- Proof of residency
- The reason for your divorce filing
- A date of separation (if you do not live together)
- The location of your marriage and its date
Don’t worry—you don’t need to face this part of the process alone. An Athens alimony attorney from our team can file and serve the complaint on your behalf. We can make sure that you meet the documentation requirements.
If you receive a divorce complaint, you must respond promptly. Failing to do so could result in a divorce by default. During a divorce by default, the spouse who filed the complaint will make their case to a judge without their partner’s input. Therefore, if your partner triggers a divorce by default, your opinions on the divorce proceedings may not matter.
Grounds for Divorce
In Alabama, as with most states, you need to have a reason for pursuing a divorce.
Some common fault-based reasons for divorce include:
- Separation of two years or more
- Drug addiction
- Confinement in a mental institution
- Illegal activity
Filing on fault-based grounds can prove important for your case. For instance, a judge may determine that the defendant’s drug addiction limits their parenting capabilities.
However, you don’t need to file a divorce based on fault in Alabama. You can also file a no-fault divorce.
In a no-fault divorce, you can cite these reasons for ending the marriage:
- You have incompatible personalities.
- You cannot salvage the marriage.
Unlike fault-based divorces, no-fault divorces don’t require you to prove marital misconduct. No-fault divorces can involve a simpler, smoother process. As a result, no-fault divorces happen more commonly than fault-based divorces. It’s important to hire the best divorce lawyer for your unique situation.
Paperwork Involved in a Divorce
Paperwork requirements differ from divorce to divorce. This includes divorce complaints and a few other forms of standard documentation.
If you and your partner share children, you may need to complete child custody paperwork, including:
- The Child Support Information Sheet
- The Child Support Obligation Income Statement
- And more
Unfortunately, some divorces involve abuse or neglect. If you face violence from a partner, you may need to rely on a restraining order to protect yourself. Restraining orders employ one of two documents: a protection order or a temporary restraining order (TRO). While different forms of documentation, these papers accomplish a similar goal.
Both child support and restraining order documentation deal with difficult subjects. We understand and want to help you manage these challenges. We can advise you about submitting this documentation and protect your best interests.
Does the Type of Divorce Affect Alimony?
Fault and no-fault aren’t technically types of divorces. They explain the reasons behind your divorce but don’t identify the type of divorce that you’re going through. Divorces include two categories: contested and uncontested.
Alimony considerations can arise in either type of divorce. However, as noted earlier, it can prove a subject of contention between ex-partners.
Uncontested divorces can prove the smoothest types of divorce. They’re inexpensive and typically take less time to process.
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on:
- Child support
- The division of assets
- Child custody
- And more
In a contested divorce, the parties involved fail to agree on the terms of their separation. These disagreements can take weeks or months to resolve.
Negotiations in a contested divorce may take these approaches:
- Mediation: You and your partner will sit down with a third-party mediator during mediation. This mediator isn’t a judge, so they cannot make a ruling regarding your divorce. They can, however, facilitate a healthy environment for discussion. Your legal teams can be present at these meetings, as well.
- Legal team negotiations: An Athens alimony lawyer from our firm can handle the negotiation process on your behalf. We can engage with your partner’s legal team and seek an equitable resolution.
- You speak directly with your spouse: Divorce proceedings aren’t the same as standard civil cases—you’re allowed to figuratively cross the aisle and speak with your partner. This approach allows you to settle your disagreements directly.
- Trial: If you can avoid a trial, do so. Trials often prove expensive and time-consuming. Judges can take months to produce a divorce decree. Sometimes, though, you’re left with no other options. In this case, our team can represent you. We’re prepared to go to trial if needed.
Start Working With The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates on Your Alimony Case Today
Anything connected with a divorce can be confusing and overwhelming. At The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates, our attorneys work to come alongside our clients and help them through the process.
You don’t have to figure out alimony all on your own. We are here to help. Connect with us today for a no-obligation evaluation with one of our team members.
Hire an Athens Alimony Lawyer Today
We recognize that divorces can prove challenging. They can cause your children undue stress and sour your relationship with your partner. At The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates, we diligently support our clients. Our team can make this unpleasant process simpler. We can work hard to seek a desirable alimony settlement so you can move forward.
The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates Athens Office Location:213 South Jefferson Street
Athens, AL 35612