What are the guidelines for getting spousal support in Alabama?

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Question:

What are the guidelines for getting spousal support in Alabama?

Answer:

Getting spousal support in Alabama is determined by Alabama's courts. In determining whether a request for alimony will be granted, Alabama courts consider the assets of both spouses as well as the length of the marriage. The courts typically grants alimony in cases where one party's income or assets are not sufficient for self support.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary or Short-Term – awarded for shorter marriages if one spouse needs support for a limited amount of time
  • Long-Term or Permanent – usually awarded for long-term marriages of ten or more years.

In Alabama, alimony ceases upon death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient spouse.

Factors for Awarding Alimony

Alabama alimony laws provide the following guidelines for awarding alimony:

  • The court may grant alimony at its discretion.
  • The court will consider the financial status of the parties in determining whether to grant alimony and the amount of alimony to grant.
  • The court may not consider property acquired prior to marriage or by gift or bequest during marriage unless income from the property was used during the marriage for the common benefit of both parties.
  • Retirement benefits may be considered as part of a spouse’s estate when determining alimony if the marriage lasted at least ten years, and retirement was accumulating during the marriage.
  • The court may not include retirement benefits accrued prior to marriage or any interest from those benefits in the spouse’s estate.
  • The amount of the retirement benefits payable to a non-covered spouse may not exceed 50 percent of the retirement benefits considered by the court.
  • Parties may agree to a lump sum settlement, or if the court grants payment from a spouse’s retirement benefits not yet received by that spouse, the non-covered spouse will be entitled to payment from those benefits only once the covered spouse receives them.

Talk with an Attorney

If you are facing divorce in Alabama, you should consult with an experienced attorney to represent your interests in the proceeding, including issues of alimony.

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