If you’ve never heard the term before, it can be hard to understand why you have to pay your ex-spouse any amount of money after you’ve divorced. Alimony is usually sought after when one Rhode Island spouse did the grunt of the household / emotional work while the other worked. In these cases, the alimony payments will help keep the spouse afloat until they either remarry or can financially support themselves. Even marriages where both spouses worked might have some form of alimony though.
How is alimony determined?
Either spouse may petition the other to pay alimony and attorney fees (or both) during the divorce. While deciding whether or not to grant alimony, the court will look at:
– The length of the marriage
– The income of both parties
– The age, health, station, and status of both parties
– The financial needs of both parties
– How both parties acted while they were married
Above all else, though, they look at both spouses’ employment history as well as their vocational skills. The main thing they’ll question is whether or not the spouse petitioning for the alimony payments has the ability to support themselves without their ex.
What if both spouses work?
Sometimes alimony payments are used as a form of compensation. For example, if both spouses worked but one spouse cheated, causing the divorce, the court will take that into consideration.
In that case, the spouse who cheated might be ordered to pay alimony and court fees since the divorce is essentially their divorce. The alimony is meant to make up for the lost time and money of the other spouse who was faithful to the marriage.
What if I can’t pay alimony?
The court takes both parties’ incomes into consideration. If you’re worried about alimony payments, reach out to a lawyer.