Alimony in Alabama
After a divorce, one party with means is often compelled to provide financial assistance to the other party if they are in need. These payments, called alimony, are in place to keep both parties in the marriage in the same economic state they were accustomed to while married. Alimony can be awarded by the courts, but it can also be part of a settlement reached between the two parties out of court. Alimony may be awarded payments over time or as a lump sum, also referred to as alimony in gross. In Alabama, alimony payments end after that time has expired, if either spouse dies, or if the spouse who receives payments remarries or moves in with another individual.
Alimony in Gross
In Alabama, alimony may be paid as a lump payment at the dissolution of the marriage and works much in the same way as the division of joint assets. After 30 days from when the settlement was reached, the agreement can no longer be modified, even if the spouse remarries or moves in with another partner. Alimony in gross is also non-taxable to the recipient.
Alimony Payments Over Time
Periodic alimony is different from alimony in gross in that it can be adjusted by the courts or through a settlement and also has limitations on the conditions under which it must be paid. Individuals are no longer required to pay alimony if their former spouse has married someone else or begun living with another partner. In Alabama courts, periodic alimony is to be reported as income by the recipient and tax deductible for the payer.
How the Courts Determine Alimony Payments
Although there is no single rule or formula that Alabama courts go by to determine how alimony is awarded, there are a few factors that are considered when making a decision. First, Alabama courts look at the length of marriage and each spouse’s income or potential income. They also look to the health of the spouses, their age, and the value of any property (both joint and separate). The courts also look to see if either party engaged in any misconduct, which, in Alabama, can be grounds for awarding alimony to the other party. The courts usually will not award alimony to one party unless the marriage has been of significant length or one party was significantly dependant on the other for providing for the family.
Although these are general rules regarding alimony in Alabama, each court decision is made on a case-by-case basis. If you or someone you know is involved or will potentially be involve in a alimony, contact family law attorney Lana Hawkins in Guntersville, Huntsville, and Arab for consultation.