Alimony is financial support paid by one former spouse to the other after the marriage has legally ended. Alimony is also called spousal support. Alimony payments may be ordered to begin while the divorce is still pending in court, known as interim or temporary alimony,2 and for a period of time after the divorce is finalized. The court will determine how long you or the other party will receive alimony.
If you've been married for 20 years or more, there's no limit to how long you can get alimony. However, if you were married for less than 20 years, you cannot collect alimony for more than 50% of the duration of the marriage, 3 For example, if you were married for 10 years, you could only collect alimony for up to five years. If you plan to divorce or are already in the process, you and your spouse can agree (in writing) that one of you will pay the other a certain amount of support for a certain period of time. For example, suppose the receiving spouse shows evidence that he and his new relationship do not share any expenses and pay everything separately; in such a case, the presumption would be refuted because the financial circumstances of the supported party have not changed.
Alimony is basically defined as payment by one spouse to the other under a court order or the couple's agreement after a divorce or while a divorce case is being processed. As part of a final judgment in the event of dissolution of marriage or legal separation, the judge may order one spouse to pay support for the other spouse for a period of time and in an amount that the judge deems fair and reasonable under the circumstances (see below for information on those circumstances). Judges can order one spouse to pay temporary spousal support while the legal divorce process is ongoing. State laws set out the rules judges should consider when deciding whether to award alimony in any case, as well as the amount and duration of payments.
In cases where the receiving spouse is unlikely to obtain gainful employment due to age or health considerations, the court may order support of the payer's life insurance or estate insurance income. Refusing to pay or not keeping up with alimony payments can result in civil or criminal charges for the payer. While many states use the term permanent spousal support for any alimony that is ordered as part of the final judgment of divorce, those payments rarely last for the rest of the beneficiary's life. But what happens if the paying spouse is self-employed? In appropriate situations, California law allows judges to order the paying spouse to provide some reasonable method of security for the payment of alimony.
Sometimes a judge orders a spouse to pay a lump sum to the other spouse for support, either in cash or in a transfer of property (apart from the regular process of dividing the couple's marital assets). As it stands, the IRS allows alimony payments to be tax-deductible by the payer for divorce or separation agreements executed in December or earlier. California tax law still requires beneficiaries to include spousal support payments as income on their state tax returns, and paying spouses can deduct income payments on their own state returns. If you are facing a divorce and plan to file for alimony, or you think your spouse could file for it, you'll want to know what alimony is, how judges decide to award it, when you can change or stop alimony payments, and how you and your spouse could come to an agreement on the issue instead of having an el judge decides for you.
Conversely, if the wife committed the misconduct, she was considered to have lost any right to continued support. .