One of the most difficult things one can go through is divorce. It is the end of a marriage you thought would last forever. Going through this divorce process means not only that you may stop seeing your former partner, but also that you’ll have to figure out what to do with your life next. If you also have children, things can get even more complicated.
If a spouse was dependent on the other throughout the marriage, a divorce can be financially devastating. The affected individual will need financial help until they are able to support themselves. As a result, alimony comes into play many times.
In Colorado, 13.52 people out of 1,000 have gotten a divorce back in 2021, with the divorce rate being 12%. Several people who got divorced needed financial help. Therefore, they hired Denver alimony lawyers to help them get alimony payments.
Can you get alimony after the divorce, though?
What Exactly Is Alimony?
Alimony is a form of payment that one spouse has to make to the other while the divorce proceedings are ongoing or after a divorce has been finalized. In some states, alimony has different names, like spousal maintenance and support.
Alimony is a periodic or lump sum of money that can be either “permanent” (until the spouse’s circumstances change) or temporary. Even though alimony is different from one case to another, the payments don’t last until the end of the spouse’s life. Truly permanent alimony is usually given to people when they were in long marriages and one of the spouses did not work for a huge amount of time. In this case, becoming financially independent is difficult.
How Is Alimony Decided by Courts?
The judges will use the state laws to decide if awarding alimony is necessary. How much one gets in alimony and the duration of the payments will also be decided by the judge based on the laws.
Usually, the rules will be different for temporary financial support after the divorce and during the divorce.
Can You Get Alimony After a Divorce?
One can get alimony after a divorce if the judge decides that they were financially dependent on the other spouse during the marriage and will face financial struggles after getting divorced. Therefore, your spouse may be ordered to pay alimony.
Here are situations that can help you prove you were dependent on your spouse:
- You do not have enough property to provide for your own needs, including marital property
- You used to rely on your partner financially
- You cannot support yourself through work or you are unable to work at the moment because you are taking care of a child who suffers from a condition that makes you “inappropriate” for work.
Of course, there are still many factors that come into play when the judge decides whether you should get alimony or not, even if you show evidence of being dependent on your spouse.
Usually, the judge will also investigate whether the other spouse has the ability to pay the financial support for you. Here are some factors that will be taken into account when deciding on alimony payments:
- The age and health of each spouse
- How long was the marriage
- The debts, assets, and income of each spouse
- How much both spouses will get after the property’s division
- The living standard of the couple while they were married, and to which extent they could keep their lifestyle the same way after getting divorced
- Contributions that any of the spouses made for the education, career advancement, or training of the other
- Whether one of the spouses has a much lower earning capacity than the other due to not working for extended periods
- Other factors that the judge considers fair
In some states, the judges will even look at whether there was a domestic violence history or a history of misconduct in any of the two spouses.
What Happens If Your Spouse Does Not Pay Alimony?
In case your spouse does not pay the support ordered by the court, you can go to court again and address this with the judge. The court will then set a hearing trying to discover why your former spouse refuses to pay the alimony and may enforce the alimony orders.
The Bottom Line
You can get alimony after a divorce as long as the judge thinks you need financial support. Make sure you can prove your need for support, and you will increase your chances of getting alimony.