A Guide to Alimony: When Will I Start Receiving It?
Splitting from your spouse can be financial devastating (not to mention the emotional impact). Suddenly, you may find yourself struggling to figure out how to live on one income instead of two, while also covering all the living expenses instead of half of them. If you stayed home while your spouse worked, you may find yourself with no income and no work history to help you get a job. You may worry about your ability to meet your own needs.
Alimony can help you maintain your standard of living after your divorce – or at least help you meet your basic needs – but you will need to work with a good Phoenix divorce attorney to apply for it. Alimony is not automatically granted in a divorce, even if your spouse is a millionaire and even if your spouse cheated. You have to ask for it, and you have to either negotiate the settlement or convince a judge to award it to you. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer increases the chances that your claim will be successful.
A divorce can drag on for months or even years. You likely are not in a place where you can wait for all the ink to dry before you can start getting your alimony payments. How will you pay the rent while you are arguing in court for months?
Fortunately, you can apply for temporary alimony as soon you separate from your spouse. You can also request alimony if you seek a domestic violence protection order. In either scenario, you can negotiate an amount through your divorce lawyer with your spouse, and the payments can begin. If your spouse will not agree to pay or will not agree to an amount, your divorce attorney can file a motion with the court and get your case heard as quickly as possible. Your divorce won’t go before the courts right away, but the issue of temporary alimony can be decided so that you can take care of your living expenses while are awaiting the final dissolution of your marriage and the final settlement.
Some people only qualify for temporary alimony. However, you can apply for permanent alimony, which would continue after the divorce – usually until you are remarried.
You and your attorney can negotiate directly, as with temporary alimony, or you can bring the case to court. If your case goes before a judge, several factors will be considered to determine if you should be awarded alimony and, if so, how much. The judge will consider things like your standard of living during the marriage, your current resources, and your spouse’s ability to pay.
Typically, “fault” is not considered when it comes to awarding alimony. For example, it won’t matter if your spouse cheated or abused you. You may be able to relate these issues to financial support. You may be able to say, for instance, that your spouse diverted marital funds to a new person, such as for gifts or a secret apartment. In that case, you may be able to make a claim for more alimony. Otherwise, expect to stick to the financial circumstances of your marriage and your current situation.
Alimony can help you to recover after a divorce and to move forward without taking a serious hit to your quality of life. To get the alimony you feel you deserve, you need to talk with a Phoenix divorce attorney as soon as possible. Call to make an appointment when you start thinking about separation or when you know it is on your spouse’s mind. The earlier you can act, the sooner you can get the alimony you need.
My AZ Lawyers can help you get the alimony you need. A Phoenix divorce lawyer from our team will review the circumstances of your case and help you understand your options for alimony. Your attorney will then attempt to negotiate on your behalf or will take your case to court to fight for what you need. We work with clients who need immediate, temporary support, as well as those suing for long-term support. We serve clients in Mesa, Glendale, Tucson, and Phoenix. Call us today to talk with a divorce attorney from our team.
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