When a dissolution of your marriage is inevitable, you may struggle to come to grips with what the future holds for you. You will naturally seek meaning and security. Women and Children’s Law Center in Oklahoma City offers you answers in this uncertain time, and we will do all we can do to make sure that you and your children are safe, secure, and able to start a new life. Separation and divorce proceedings are a beast unto themselves with laws and procedures that you are most likely unfamiliar with. In this week’s blog, we will cover some basics about alimony.

What is Alimony

What is commonly referred to as alimony is legally known as spousal support. According to DivorceNet.com, it is, “a regular payment one spouse makes to the other spouse to provide financial support during and/or after a divorce. Spouses can agree to the amount and duration of spousal support, or a court may order it if the spouses can’t agree.”

How is Alimony Paid

Alimony can be paid in a bulk sum or in weekly or monthly amounts. The amount is determined by factors, such as the other spouse’s income, the duration of the marriage, the spouse’s employment history, and the age of the children involved.

How Long is Alimony Paid?

Unlike in some other states, in Oklahoma, there is no limit to how long alimony payments can continue. The duration is dependent on the financial situation, duration of the marriage, the age of the spouses, and potential job opportunities of the spouses. For instance, if a woman in her 40s has spent the last 20 years being a stay-at-home mother, she is much more likely to get alimony for longer than a woman in her 20s who has continued to work during her short marriage.

What is the Relationship Between Alimony and Child Support?

They are both intended to provide financial security during the upheaval of a divorce. If child support and alimony are both ordered, the amount of the child support will affect the amount of the alimony. The alimony may end after a few years, but the child support will last until the children reach the age of 18.

What if My Spouse Doesn’t Pay?

If the alimony is court ordered, then he or she will be in contempt and legal proceedings can begin. If the court finds that they are indeed in contempt, there may be fines, legal fees to pay, or even jail time. There are other ways to get the money if the spouse does not voluntarily pay, including wage and tax refund garnishment.

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What if My Spouse Files for Bankruptcy?

In general, alimony and child support are considered “domestic support obligations” and are not dischargeable under bankruptcy laws. This means that their obligations remain and, while they may not be paying right now, the amount they owe will accrue, and they will have to pay it one way or another

To find out more about alimony, child support, or to get legal representation in your divorce, Call Women and Children’s Law Center in Oklahoma City.