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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

How can I recover alimony from my soon-to-be ex-spouse?

Many spouses in Redwood City choose not to work outside the home for a number of reasons. Some decide to focus on taking care of their family, while others choose to focus on school or hobbies before finding a job.

If you were a stay-at-home spouse during your marriage, it may be hard to support yourself financially if the marriage ends. Entering the workforce for the first time or going back into the workforce after so many years out of it can be difficult. Fortunately, alimony is often available to a spouse who earns less of an income in order to help them gain financial independence after the divorce.

Alimony, or spousal support, is awarded to a spouse who has earned less than their husband or wife during the marriage, or a spouse who did not earn any wages during the marriage. Courts will consider a number of factors when determining whether a spouse should receive alimony, and for how long that award should last. First, they will consider the age, physical and mental condition and financial condition of the spouse, as well as the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage. The court will also look at how long the couple was married and the amount of time the lesser-earning spouse would need to acquire the skills necessary to support themselves financially.

In most cases, alimony will be awarded on a temporary basis until the payee has had enough time to become self-sufficient, or gets re-married. If the payee is permanently disabled or otherwise incapable of working, alimony may be awarded on a permanent basis.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed on July 10, 2017

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