Huntsville Divorce Attorney Leigh Daniel Can Help You Understand Alimony Laws in Alabama
Huntsville Alimony Attorney
Alimony, also known as “spousal support,” may not be an issue in all divorces ─ but when it does come up, it can cause a great deal of contention between spouses. Alimony is support that one spouse pays to the other so that the spouse who is being paid can maintain a standard of living similar to the one the couple enjoyed while they were married. Alimony is typically paid in divorces between parties who have been married a substantial length of time.
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, our highly skilled Huntsville alimony attorney has negotiated aggressively for spouses on both sides of the fence.
For spouses who are seeking alimony, our sharp legal team will conduct a detailed investigation to show how your standard of living would change without this support and how your earning potential may have been affected by your role in the marriage. We will also analyze your family’s financial situation so we are ready to prove that your spouse has the ability to pay.
For spouses who are being pushed for alimony, our dedicated divorce attorneys will perform a thorough review of your family finances and the history of your relationship. Armed with the facts, we will aggressively fight unfair claims to protect your rights and your future.
Whether you expect to pay alimony or you expect to receive it, you need an experienced Huntsville divorce lawyer on your side to protect your legal interests and those of your children. Attorney Leigh Daniel has served the Huntsville and Northern Alabama communities since 1994. Because our office focuses specifically on family law, our compassionate legal team brings a depth of knowledge and a clarity of perspective to the table for each of our clients.
Contact us today to find out how we can help resolve your alimony issues.
How Does Alimony Work in Alabama?
The question of alimony does not come up in all divorces. For example, in cases where the couple have been married less than 10 years or both spouses have approximately equal income and earning capacities, the issue may never be raised.
Alimony is more likely to be discussed in a divorce if:
- The spouses have been married at least 10 years. The longer the spouses have been married, the more likely it is that the question of alimony will come up.
- One spouse has been dependent on the other for a significant length of time. This includes situations in which one spouse stayed home to raise the children, to pursue a home business or another project, or due to disability or other needs.
- One spouse’s access to income or resources is much lower than the other spouse’s. In this case, alimony might be paid until the spouse with less income can return to school, find a job, or find another way to gain the resources needed to support himself or herself.
What is Rehabilitative Alimony?
In some divorces, “rehabilitative alimony” may be appropriate. This is alimony that is paid during a short period of time while one spouse transitions into the job market. For instance, suppose that one spouse is a teacher who stepped away from the classroom for a few years to raise young children. While the teacher was away, his or her teaching license expired. In this divorce, rehabilitative alimony might be paid for the few months or years it takes the former teacher to complete any required classes, renew the license, and begin to teach again.
How are Alimony Amounts Set in Alabama?
Alabama alimony law does not contain a particular formula or table of amounts for setting alimony. Instead, an experienced Huntsville alimony lawyer can help negotiate a fair amount, which then must be agreed upon by the trial court. Although the divorcing spouses have a great deal of leeway to decide how much alimony will be paid and for how long, their decision still needs to “fit” within the guidelines set by Alabama law. These include:
- Showing a need for alimony by one spouse.
- Showing an ability to pay by the other spouse.
- Demonstrating earning ability and future prospects for earning income of each party.
- Taking into account the ages and health of each person.
- Considering the length of the marriage.
- Evaluating the type and value of property each spouse will take as part of the divorce. (Property that either spouse had before the marriage or that was an inheritance or gift they received cannot be included in alimony considerations.)
- Considering the conduct of the parties.
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, our skilled Huntsville alimony attorneys will negotiate aggressively to settle on an amount that is fair to you and fits within the confines of Alabama alimony law. If your spouse refuses to reach a fair agreement, we will not hesitate to take your argument to court and push for a fair decision from the judge.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your alimony issues.
How Is Alimony Paid, and When Does It End?
Alimony in Alabama is typically paid in one of two ways:
- “Alimony in gross,” which is paid in a single lump sum. Payment of alimony in gross ends when the lump-sum payment is made.
- “Periodic alimony,” which includes payments made over a period of time. After a periodic alimony amount is set by the court, it will only end if one of the following things occurs:
- The alimony agreement contains a date on which alimony will end, and that date arrives.
- One of the two parties dies.
- The spouse receiving alimony remarries or cohabitates with a partner.
“Cohabitation” involves more than simply dating someone. Cohabitation is usually demonstrated by evidence that the two people are living in the same house or are in the process of moving in together. For instance, evidence that one person keeps their clothes at the other person’s house, eats meals there, and pays utility bills or has started having mail delivered in their name to that address are factors that weigh in favor of finding that cohabitation exists.
Some states allow the parties to agree to continue alimony even if the spouse who receives alimony has remarried or is cohabitating. Alabama, however, does not.
Choose a Huntsville Alimony Lawyer Who Will Fight for What’s Fair
Divorce is never an easy process, but arguing over issues of alimony, child support, child custody, and division of assets can make it even more complicated. You can trust the skilled and compassionate Huntsville alimony attorneys at Leigh Daniel Family Law to walk you through every aspect of the divorce process and make you feel confident about the direction your case is heading in.
Our legal team will always encourage you to stay focused on the positive and concentrate on the future that you want for you and your family. We will be in constant communication about your case, so you are never left wonder what’s happening. Contact us today to learn how we can help you move forward with your case ─ and your life.