In divorce proceedings, alimony or spousal support is a misunderstood concept. Most people understand the general idea of alimony. It is money paid by one former spouse, to the other for living expenses.
Will you have to pay spousal support? Sometimes, knowing the myths can provide you with an idea of what you may have to pay or if you have to pay.
Alimony Will Be Permanent
One of the biggest concerns about spousal support is that you re going to have to pay it forever. You will rarely have to pay alimony for the rest of your life. Now older couples who have been together for decades and split, where one person has never worked out of the home may be a more complex situation. However, in the majority of cases, you only pay alimony until the other spouse can get on his or her feet. If he or she gets remarried or finds a better job, then you will normally be ordered to stop paying spousal support.
Alimony Is Awarded for Bad Behavior
Why do you have to pay spousal support? Some partners worry that their behavior will be the main reason that they must pay alimony. Generally, you pay alimony because one partner earned more than the other and it may take time for the other spouse to make enough money to support him or herself. It has nothing to do with your behavior.
In the past, behaviors could affect alimony. Nowadays, all states are no-fault states. This means that you cannot have alimony used as a punishment against you.
Alimony Has to Pay for Standard of Living
There is a major misconception that if you pay spousal support then it must cover your spouse’s standard of living. If your spouse spent a lot of money on designer clothes or events, then you may think that you must continue to pay for that lifestyle. Instead, alimony is supposed to pay for a spouse’s basic needs. It will pay for housing, utilities, food and other basic needs. You do not have to pay alimony for vacations or other recreation.
There are a lot of misconceptions about alimony. If you were the main earner in your relationship, you may worry about how much you have to pay in spousal support or if you have to pay support at all.