When a couple in Rhode Island goes through a divorce, one person may be required to pay alimony to the other. The court takes a number of factors into account when determining whether there should be alimony, how much it should be and how long it should last.
Length of time
While in the past alimony might have been paid for decades, it is more common today for it to be for a limited time. It might be set in order to give a spouse who did not work outside the home a few years to complete an education or train for a new job so that they can support themselves. However, there are situations in which alimony might be long-term, such as if the spouse cannot work because of a disability or is older and unlikely to reenter the workforce.
Factors in determining alimony
A court will take into account how long the marriage lasted, each person’s financial obligations and how each person behaved during the marriage in addition to the earning power and potential earning power of each person. The standard of living during the marriage and the capacity of the higher-earning spouse to pay the other are also considered along with whether either person is likely to acquire more assets in the future.
Changes in payments
If the spouse receiving alimony remarries, the alimony payments are ended. Courts may also review the amount sometimes, and if there is a change in circumstances, they may determine that more or less should be paid.
People should keep in mind that alimony is separate from child support, which is supposed to be used to take care of the needs of the child. In both cases, the payments are designed to mitigate some of the financial instability that divorce can cause.