Can A Working Wife Get Alimony?
The answer is yes, it is possible. It’s not necessarily easy though.
You must call an experienced divorce and alimony lawyer to determine your rights and the specifics of your situation. Each situation is different.
Earlier working wives were not entitled to maintenance however, with passage of time and subsequent amendments in law, the right to maintenance has finally been provided to wives. The concept behind such recognition is that a wife is deprived of many comforts after she leaves the matrimonial home. Sometimes, she loses interest in life.
The monetary comfort from her husband gives her some solace. She might be living in her parental house but even then she has to incur some expenses. She has to constantly look after the child by performing her duties day and night. She does not get that support which she would have got in case she had been residing in the matrimonial home. It is the duty of the husband to maintain his wife and it has to be put on a higher pedestal. Even if the wife is employed, she is entitled for the status and standard of living which she used to enjoy at her matrimonial home.
Reasons for Filing Divorce
• Marriage Quality: Women were said to be more sensitive about the relationship compared to men. During the span of the divorced couples’ years together, the quality of their marriages reportedly deteriorated. Most of the women became unsatisfied and unhappy with their lives, which made them file for divorce. Over the years, couples who were married for at least a decade often lose their connection with one another. Lack of communication, lack of intimacy and lack of equality fall into this category.
• Unreasonable Behavior: Surprisingly, unreasonable behavior is one of the most common reasons why married couples choose to divorce.
• Adultery: Adultery is engaging in sexual activities or relationship with another person other than your spouse. According to statistics, during the fifth to seventh year of marriage, there is a high chance of husbands as well as wives to have an affair. Husbands’ reason is primarily for the sex; however, emotional connection was cited to be the main reason why wives cheat.
• Physical or Mental Abuse: When someone in the marriage suffers abuse, it is a red flag and should be grounds for filing divorce. Physical as well as emotional abuse is present in a marriage. It is a devastating reality for those who suffer some kind of abuse in the marriage, as their relationship should be built in trust, love and equality. Parties who have been victims of abuse file for divorce because they could not take it anymore.
Alimony and Divorce
There are also other grounds for divorce. These include:
• One-year separation: A voluntary one-year separation is a ground for divorce. The courts can allow it if the married couple has been living apart from each other in a span of a year. However, if the couple lived back together, even for a short period within that year, this ground will not work. In addition, a witness must attest to the one-year separation.
• Conviction of a crime: The crime committed must be a felony. The crime committed can be in any place or state. The conviction must be final.
• Irreconcilable differences: Irreconcilable differences mean that the married couple cannot see any chance of working out whatever problem they have. This may also mean that the breakdown of the marriage is irretrievable.
• Permanent or incurable insanity: In order to be granted a divorce, the parties should prove three things to the court:
I. The spouse was confined in a mental health hospital or the same kind of facility,
II. The spouse has been confined in the facility for three years straight, and
III. A medical professional or expert can testify that the spouse’s mental health or insanity is incurable.
• Desertion: Desertion or abandonment must last at least six months before the filing of the divorce. A witness should also testify to this.
• Habitual drinking or drug abuse: In order for you to get a divorce using this ground, you have to prove to the court that your spouse is addicted to narcotics or other dangerous drugs. The addiction should happen within the marriage.
• Neglect or abuse of a child: The abuse done to the child may be emotional, physical or sexual done by the husband or the wife. The abuse can be in the form of neglect, failure to give the child his or her necessities, physical injuries, emotional harassment and the like.
Alimony is the legal obligation of a person to pay financial support to his/her spouse after the divorce. It is a form of spousal support, which aims to correct the unfair economic or financial effects of the divorce. Getting alimony may be difficult, especially when the divorce has been generated by anger or betrayal.
Many factors help determine how much alimony a spouse can get. There is no definite formula to help compute the total amount of spousal support. However, it is computed based on circumstances such as:
• Property and income of the husband and wife,
• Impairments in the capacity to earn,
• Standard of living,
• Length of marriage,
• The number of children to be raised,
• Each spouse’s capacity to earn, and
• Contributions and sacrifices of one spouse for the other spouse’s education or career.
If you are earning more than your spouse, you have a chance of receiving less alimony. If there are children involved and other factors that can help you with your situation, you should be able to get a reasonable amount of alimony. Getting alimony is done through the agreement of both parties. They will discuss how much will be paid on a monthly basis. In case of differences or non-agreement, attorney assistance is needed. If there is still no agreement despite the help of the lawyers, the court will decide on how much money a spouse should get.
The Legal Alimony Process
Figuring out how much you as a divorcing woman can get for alimony may require help from an attorney. You and your spouse, together with your lawyers will sit down and discuss details such as your ability to earn, your children, standard of living and more. Once the amount is determined, you will then compute if you will receive your alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. It is also advisable to consult with a tax professional about the implications of taxes when receiving alimony, as it is counted as an income on the part of the receiver. Negotiations take place after all the details are discussed. Both spouses, together with their lawyers, will meet with each other. Negotiation is faster compared to a court order, which is why both parties should agree during this period as much as possible. If the terms are agreed upon, both parties should sign the agreement. Otherwise, it will be discussed in court.
To file for alimony in court, as a divorcing woman, you should do the following steps:
• Separate from the spouse: The spouses must first be separated in order to receive alimony. A temporary alimony is received during the beginning of the separation.
• Gather financial information: The courts will require you to present any form of financial information to prove your financial capabilities. Documents such as bank statements, pay slips, proof of rent or mortgage payments and the like are supporting documents to show your financial situation.
• Take it to court: You must file the alimony to the proper courts. You should file it to the court where you and your spouse are currently living.
• Fill out the forms: To properly file for alimony, you must find the forms that are applicable to your case. Once you are done with the forms, you can file them and pay the corresponding fees.
• Inform your spouse: A notice of the alimony petition as well as the divorce is needed in order to inform your spouse. However, if the both of you already signed a joint divorce petition, wait for your spouse’s reply. This will take 21 up to 30 days. Once you get a reply, wait for your court hearing date. You and your spouse will then meet in court and await a decision.
Divorce is generally difficult for everyone involved; if you’re a woman currently going through this situation, it can be helpful to not only have adequate legal support but also have a general background as to where you stand legally. Hopefully the aforementioned information will help you gauge the legal aspect of the alimony process. It still may be tough, but at least you’ll have an idea as to what to expect.
Alimony and Child Support
In most cases, the wife gets 20-35 per cent of a husband’s net taxable income as alimony. If the woman is working, she can still get maintenance if the court feels her demands are reasonable, if she has dependants or if her income is not sufficient to support the lifestyle she enjoyed while married. If a person is seeking separation on the basis of adultery, he or she should have the proof of a spouse engaging in it. Child support is usually the responsibility of the husband. However, if the wife is also working, the court can ask both to contribute towards child support, in proportion to their income. Alimony can cause you serious financial strain. Being newly single and having only one income means you’ve already had to make big changes to your monthly budget and lifestyle. Some individuals may do something sneaky, like devise clever plans to get around the strain that alimony causes on their finances. However, tempting as this may be, it is important you approach the matter with care, concern, and ethics. This way, you can avoid any legal ramifications that may result from attempting to avoid your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Here are some tactics You Can Use To Keep More Of The Money You Earn And Avoid Paying Alimony.
Strategy 1: Avoid Paying It In the First Place
The best way to get out of making alimony payments is to avoid the need to make them in the first place. Many couples that seek to marry opt to protect themselves by drafting up a prenuptial agreement before the marriage is made legal. This document includes full disclosure of each individual’s income. It includes the assets that each spouse will bring to the union. In this manner, the document lays out exactly which marital property belongs to whom. This special document should be prepared by your attorney then approved by a judge before your marriage.
Strategy 2: Prove Your Spouse Was Adulterous
Laws about paying alimony vary from state to state. Even with these variants, many do not allow unfaithful spouses to vie for alimony payments. This is going to require more than your word indicating that your spouse was unfaithful during your marriage. You must bear the burden of proof. This may come in the form of showing photographs and video to the judge of your spouse.
Strategy 3: Change Up Your Lifestyle
You’ve likely already made some major changes in light of your divorce. It is rare that the higher earning spouse will be given alimony payments, so it is a good time for you to consider just how much money you truly need to cover your expenses each month. If you earn more than your spouse, it is likely you will be responsible for making alimony payments. To avoid this financial conundrum, consider downgrading a lower paying job.
Strategy 4: End the Marriage
Your state is going to determine the amount of alimony that a spouse pays. However, one factor that states often consider is the overall length of the marriage. Typically, the longer a person is in a marriage, the more likely it is that you will be faced with higher alimony payments. If you know your marriage is not going to last, consider ending it as quickly as you can. Stretching it out longer and longer just means more emotional pain and longer lasting alimony payments.
Strategy 5: Keep Tabs on Your Spouse’s Relationship
Some states will stop making alimony payments mandatory when the spouse who is getting them begins living with a new partner or significant other. This info may be written in the fine print on your divorce decree; ask your attorney to go over the section about alimony payments with you for the best information. A new marriage will usually allow the payments to come to an end, so keep track of what your ex-spouse is up to when it comes to their relationships.
Strategy 6: Have A Judge Evaluate Your Spouse’s Fitness to Work
After a divorce, a spouse may prefer to remain as a homemaker, even though this causes financial hardship or is not 100% necessary. If your spouse is educated and has the skills to obtain a job that pays well, you can ask a judge to perform a vocational evaluation. It is an objective assessment that provides you with insight into what your spouse can potentially earn by taking a job in their area of knowledge and skills.
Strategy 7: Prove They Don’t Need It
Some spouses who are simply being vindictive seek to gain alimony payments, even if they do not need the money to maintain their standard of living. Be sure to investigate whether or not your spouse has any assets in their name that would keep you from having to make alimony payments. To do this, you may wish to hire a professional forensic accountant to help you track down this asset or assets. While accountants definitely charge a premium for their services, your avoidance of lengthy and costly alimony fees will be well worth the price.
Strategy 8: Your Spouse May Not Get Alimony If They Don’t Have Custody
If your spouse is not awarded sole custody of the kids, they may not need money from alimony payments. Caring for children means that you have a significantly higher cost of living. Taking away the financial responsibility of providing care for your children may just lower the amount of money that is needed for your spouse to maintain their living standard. It may just give your spouse the chance to find their footing on their own in terms of their finances without the help of alimony payments.
Strategy 9: Put an End Date on Alimony Payments
Alimony payments do not have to be a lifelong affair. You should strongly consider including a termination date in your divorce decree or agreement. This will remove the need to return to court at a later date, saving you from financial burden. The payments will simply terminate.
There are a few good ways to avoid paying alimony. They are all legal and ethical, which is the best approach to take in this situation. Not only is it easier on your conscience, but you will be doing right by the courts, too. In order to get around making these payments, you may wish to use one of the expert strategies discussed here instead of using a risky method, like spontaneously quitting your job or, worse, filing for bankruptcy. The important thing is to be smart and think everything through carefully. You must be willing to sacrifice some things in your life to keep your money closer to you and away from your ex-spouse.
Alimony Attorney Free Consultation
When you need legal help with divorce in Utah, call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your free consultation. We can help you with child support, child custody, divorce, alimony, spouse support or spousal maintenance, divorce decree modification and more. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506