New York couples faced with divorce may be looking at tough financial decisions regarding post-divorce alimony. Potential legislative developments in some states could affect the longevity of alimony payments for a non-working spouse. These new laws should be considered when looking at one's financial situation after divorce.
Normally, post-divorce alimony payments are a large factor in the financial health of a spouse who did not work during the marriage. In some instances, these payments continue indefinitely. Some state legislatures and courts are trimming back permanent alimonies in favor of a phased-out approach. The length of time and amount of alimony awarded depends on factors like length of the marriage, the incomes of the spouses, and the outcome of divorce negotiations.
A limited time for alimony requires a non-working spouse to make some changes in order to retain financial security after divorce. Financial experts recommend that non-working spouses treat alimony payments as a supplement to income, and that they begin looking to start a career as soon as possible after divorce. Looking at the situation realistically, and preparing for any disruption in alimony payments or other income, is a must. Additionally, downsizing a house or preparing a budget that accurately reflects income is very helpful in adjusting to life after divorce.
A contested divorce involves many emotions and difficult legal issues. The division of assets at the end of a marriage can put a strain on both spouses. Having an experienced family law attorney may help to make divorce issues, such as child custody, visitation plans, and property division much easier on the family.
Source: Fox Business, "How to Financially Readjust for Post-Divorce Life", Andrea Murad, August 02, 2013