Alimony is often referred to as spousal support. Under family law, a court may award spousal support to one of the parties in a divorce proceeding if these payments are necessary to enable the individual to maintain the same standard of living established during the marriage. If you plan to seek spousal support or you suspect that your spouse may request it, consider talking to your divorce lawyer in San Diego. Your divorce lawyer can answer any questions you may have about alimony.
What Factors Are Considered for Awarding Alimony?
Much like determining child custody, the court will look at a number of factors when deciding whether or not to award alimony. These factors include the length of the marriage, the health and age of each spouse, and each spouse’s ability to work. As your divorce lawyer can advise you, the court will also consider each party’s obligations and assets, the ability of a spouse to make payments, and the need for the supported spouse to acquire education or vocational training.
Is Alimony Taxable?
It’s important to keep track of alimony payments that you receive or pay. If you receive alimony, you are required by law to report it as income on your state and federal tax return. If you make alimony payments, you may deduct them from your reported income, provided you meet certain requirements. For example, the payments cannot be treated as child support, you and your ex-spouse cannot be living within the same household when you make the payments, and your spousal support obligations must end in the event of the death of your ex-spouse.
How Long Must Someone Pay Alimony?
The court can award temporary or permanent alimony. Temporary alimony is generally intended to support one of the parties during the divorce proceeding. The judge may also award a period of spousal support after the divorce is finalized. Less commonly, the court may decide to award permanent alimony, which may end with the supported spouse’s remarriage or death.