Alimony - Temporary & Permanent Spousal Support - Dan Robin, Jr.

Dan Robin, Jr. attorneys are experts in divorce and family law with Spousal Support (alimony) being an integral part of any divorce settlement.

What is alimony?
Alimony (sometimes called maintenance or spousal support) is a flexible financial tool for divorcing couples. It is usually an obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse after separation or divorce, but it can also offer tax advantages that help put more cash in the pockets of one or both spouses. It is often established by divorce law or family law and is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during their marriage (or civil union, known as common-law marriages). Alimony is the continuation of this obligation to support after separation or divorce has occurred.

Many times alimony is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above the money provided by child support. Where child support is a simple mathematical calculation using guidelines published by the state, alimony is different from child support, as the ruling for alimony is very much at the discretion of the judge.

Can I receive alimony? Or will I have to pay alimony?

There are several factors judges will consider when deciding whether or not to grant alimony. These factors usually involve issues like the involved parties' financial ability to earn money, both currently and in the future; respective age and health; the length of the marriage; the kind of property involved, and the conduct of the parties. The judge will decide if you will receive or pay alimony, but individual laws will apply and legal representation is highly recommended by an attorney familiar with Louisiana law.

Temporary alimony is alimony given when the parties are separated, but the divorce is not final. Alimony might be continued after the divorce is final, but it may not be, depending on the circumstances.

Permanent alimony generally continues indefinitely, but ceasing of payments can happen due to death of the payor, the death of the recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient. Living with another person is also a common basis for stopping payment of permanent alimony. Proof would need to show a permanent or near-permanent situation, with the parties who are living together sharing living expenses.

Unless an agreement between the parties says otherwise, payments of permanent alimony can be adjusted based on a change in income. If the receiving spouse gains employment at a better paying job or receives a large sum of money from another source that might be a basis for reducing alimony payments. On the other hand, if the recipient incurs unexpected medical expenses (not covered by insurance), that might be a basis for increasing alimony payments, (providing the spouse paying alimony has the ability to pay more.)

There are other forms of alimony that are used and applied under certain circumstances. The advice of a good attorney in family law can help you determine these. Contact Dan Robin, Jr. for further information on Rehabilitative alimony, Reimbursement alimony and Lump-sum alimony.

Why would I want to pay alimony?

Alimony gets treated differently from child support on your tax return. Alimony is tax deductible to the person who pays it and included in the taxable income of the person who receives it. That means that when you and your spouse have dramatically different incomes, there may be some tax advantages to using alimony, even if a judge wouldn't ordinarily award it.

Contact the Law Offices of Dan Robin, Jr. for more information and a private consultation on your individual alimony situation.

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