Determining Fair Spousal Support
Spousal maintenance — often referred to as alimony — is one of the most misunderstood aspects of divorce in Arkansas. Many divorcing spouses make the mistake of thinking it will be automatically awarded, usually to the wife. However, judges follow a strict guideline when determining whether spousal maintenance will be awarded, how much and for how long.
Every Divorce Is Different
It is natural for both spouses entering into divorce to have questions about alimony. One spouse may seek it; the other will fight against paying it. While there are guidelines the courts follow, every divorce is different.
In general, the courts look at these guidelines when making their decision about awarding alimony:
- Duration of the marriage: Permanent alimony (until remarriage) is typically only awarded for marriages of 10 years or longer, and only if one spouse will be at a significant financial disadvantage from the loss of income brought in by the other spouse.
- Earnings potential: Judges will also look at the education and job skills of both parties to determine whether one spouse will require temporary alimony while returning to school or getting back into the job market.
- Child custody considerations: Judges will also review the custody agreement to determine whether it will be difficult for the custodial parent to return to the job market.
- Health and emotional considerations: The courts may also take into consideration the emotional and physical health of the both parties.
These are just some of the main considerations the courts will look at when determining whether to award spousal support on a permanent or temporary basis. If you are considering filing for divorce in Arkansas, or have already been served, talk to an experienced lawyer who knows the guidelines and will stand up to protect your rights.
Call the Tapp Law Firm, in Hot Springs, to arrange a free consultation with family law attorney Tylar Tapp. Mr. Tapp has been protecting the rights and financial interests of clients in divorce cases since 1998. Call 501-623-9800 or send an email requesting a return call.
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