Why Alimony Exists

Divorce is a complicated process. It even involves the separation of assets and other liabilities, which can potentially have a financial impact on the couple. There are instances where this separation makes one of the parties involved to draw the shorter end of the stick.

This can happen because of various reasons. For example, the wife decides to stay at home to take care of the kids, sacrificing her marketability to the job market and her skills. The husband, on the other hand, benefits more because he gets to keep his job while his partner gets more responsibility at home. In time, this can have a significant disparity in husband and wife.

The wife is at risk of financial dependency and the husband is bound to have more financial freedom. This can be damaging when the couple decides to get a divorce, as it leaves the wife with limited employment opportunities.

For this reason, there is a thing called alimony or spousal support, to make up for all the lost time and money that could have resulted from the sacrifices involved in marriage. Some of the factors that are considered to determine alimony include the following:

  • The ability of the spouse to pay
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Duration of the spouse’s absence to the job market
  • The spouse’s educational level, skill marketability, and overall earning capacity
  • Duration of education or training to make the spouse reasonably marketable in the job market

It is also important to point out that alimony is not just about employment issues, but also about other problems such as health conditions. If the spouse has health conditions that may affect his or her ability to work efficiently or may require medical treatment, he or she may be eligible for spousal support.

Spousal support can also be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Temporary spousal support is issued for those who can solve or minimize the issues in time, such as the issues in employment that can be solved by adequate training. Permanent spousal support may be given to those who have issues that are not time-dependent, such as permanent medical conditions that may prevent the person from going to work.

Alimony can be a complicated legal matter. In fact, determining alimony agreements can be very difficult, especially if the parties involved are unable to agree on the terms.