When a couple in Rhode Island goes through a divorce, one spouse may experience a drastic financial setback. For example, a stay-at-home parent may be unprepared to suddenly lose the financial support of the working spouse. In situations like this, the issue of post-divorce alimony payments may come up.
What is alimony?
Alimony is a lump sum payment or a series of monthly payments that are made from one spouse to another after a divorce. The goal of alimony is to lessen the negative financial impact that a divorce can have on the lower-earning spouse.
Often, the higher-earning spouse’s career achievements would not have been possible without the lower-earning spouse’s unpaid contributions to the marriage. For example, one spouse may have taken care of the children and household responsibilities so that the other spouse could work full time.
Is alimony permanent?
Court-ordered alimony might be temporary or permanent, depending on the divorcing couple’s situation. In many cases, a judge will order alimony payments to continue until the lower-earning spouse is able to achieve financial independence. If the lower-earning spouse is unlikely to achieve financial independence due to age or disability, alimony payments may be permanent.
There may be stipulations
Alimony is not always awarded without stipulations. Unless there is a premarital agreement about alimony, a judge may only award alimony payments if the lower-earning spouse can prove that they have a financial need. The judge may also order the lower-earning spouse to receive vocational training or demonstrate that they have attempted to find work.