Alimony and divorce often go hand in hand. Alimony is a source of support for one spouse paid by the other spouse for a specified time period. If you are getting divorced and will expect to be dealing with alimony, there are some things you should think about:
Who Pays Alimony
If alimony is ordered, the person in the relationship who makes a substantial amount of money over the other person will be required to pay. Alimony is typically ordered when one person has had little work experience over the life of the marriage and will need extra time to secure gainful employment. At-home parents are one prime example of one that would receive alimony after a divorce. If there is a termination date, it will be included within the divorce decree.
Who Receives Alimony
If you are going to be the person receiving alimony, there are some requirements that you will need to comply with. If you are not working or only working part-time, you may be required to find a full-time job to keep receiving your alimony. To help expedite your job search, you can often get some job-seeking assistance from the court.
When the Alimony Can Stop
There are times when alimony can be stopped due to certain life-changing events. If you get remarried and receive alimony, you will likely stop getting it. Once your kids do not need a parent at home full-time, the other parent can request that the amount be lowered. It can also stop if you have made little effort to find full-time work.
When You Miss a Payment
There may be a time when the paying spouse does not make a mandated alimony payment. The person receiving the alimony can take legal action to enforce the order to pay. If non-payment continues, the paying spouse can possibly face jail time and fines.
Whether you are paying for or receiving alimony payments, you should definitely consider your tax responsibilities. The person receiving the support will need to withhold a certain amount to report as income on his or her tax form. The paying spouse may be able to deduct the payments on his or her tax return. Once alimony is ordered, be sure to work closely with both a local divorce attorney and accountant to ensure everything is organized and legal. If you are the one who is ordered to pay alimony, you may want to consider automating those payments so that you never miss one.