For now, it is enough to understand that the alimony includes the basic day-to-day expenses of the child or other primary family member, which is usually the spouse. Alimony must be paid specifically to minor children and in some cases, the elderly or emancipated who have no income for reasons beyond their control.
When Is It Established?
Alimony is usually established in the separation or divorce agreement or by virtue of a court ruling. This obligation is one of the most conflictive in these cases, mainly due to its long duration and the tension that tends to exist between former spouses.
How To Avoid Problems
To avoid problems, it is advisable to have specialized legal assistance when drafting the separation or divorce agreement. The alimony or maintenance payments are the economic contribution payable by certain relatives and given to relatives in need. In most cases, it is done when one spouse was a housewife during the marriage and cannot make it without the other’s income.
In order for alimony to be modified, you must file a motion for modification with the court. Generally, it will be granted if circumstances have changed substantially. Because alimony is specially protected by the legal system, the court has to be involved and in many cases, the lawyer has to help to make the decisions of how to move forward.
Instances When Change Is Necessary
In certain cases, any change occurring could include the marriage or cohabitation of the spouse receiving the monthly contributions. The fees may also be lowered if the former spouse’s income has increased. An involuntary reduction in income may be considered a reason for reducing the fees, but if the reduction is voluntary, the judge’s decision may take into account the earning capacity and not the actual income. In the same way, as when it comes to child support, the modification must be approved before payments can be reduced and it is not retroactive.
This special protection for families is to be commended, but some partners tend to take advantage of it in some cases; making it difficult for the other partner. However, once children are involved, the other partner has to do what it takes to make sure the family is taken care of. The court system shouldn’t be involved, but some partners cannot be trusted to do the right thing.
Things To Know
If you don’t keep up with the payments, arrears can be collected by intercepting tax refunds, through a court hearing, wage garnishment, and liens. If the alimony is combined with child support, the arrears can be collected in the same way as the latter. It must be taken into account that in the case of joint custody, there may also be alimony, depending on the economic imbalance between parents and other factors as well. In other words, it should not be assumed that the right to alimony only exists when there is single-parent custody.
Contact A Lawyer
If you need help with collecting alimony arrears or you are going through a divorce and have to deal with this kind of payment, and you don’t know how to proceed, it is time to speak to a qualified divorce attorney to help navigate the process.