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What do you need to know about alimony?

When a married couple proceeds with the divorce process, it is possible that the court could award alimony to one person. This does not always happen, but it is definitely something that could be discussed.

The primary purpose of alimony is to eliminate any unfair economic impact the divorce will have on a lower wage earning or non wage earning spouse.

How much alimony will be paid by one spouse to the other? There is no set answer to this question, as the courts don't have a specific monetary guideline in place. Even so, courts will take the following details into consideration:

-- How long the couple was married.

-- The age and financial condition of both people.

-- The length of time the person receiving alimony would need in order to receive training and/or education to become financially self-sufficient.

-- The ability of the person paying alimony to support him or herself as well as their former partner.

It is a common misconception that alimony must be paid for the rest of a person's life. This is not true. In fact, alimony is only meant to be paid until the recipient is able to receive the education and training necessary to support themselves.

If you are going through a divorce, you should understand that matters of alimony could come to light. It doesn't matter if you are the person who will owe alimony or the person receiving a monthly payment, knowing your legal rights is a must. This will help you understand what is expected of you now and in the future.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed April 20, 2016

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