In some cases, a spouse will request alimony, a court-ordered payment of money during or after the divorce. A court will generally look to the following factors in determining whether alimony is appropriate:
- Length of the marriage
- If the requesting spouse has any disability or medical conditions
- Education of each party
- Earning capacity of each party
- The standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage
- Prenuptial agreement
- Contribution of the parties during the marriage
- Any other relevant factor
Once the court determines that a party is entitled to alimony, the court then determines how much the person should receive per month and how long he or she should receive it–and if relevant, the time involved to reach the goal of self-sufficiency.
Tulsa, OK’s Trusted Alimony Lawyers
Divorce is generally a very trying and challenging thing to experience. Unfortunately, the emotional fallout is more often than not only the beginning. Tying up financial ends only tops this off. Doing so in a state of infuriation from the divorce can significantly worsen things.
This is where the Law Office of Carlos L. Williams steps in to help you. We offer alimony services to clients throughout Tulsa, OK. We draw on our combined experience of fifty years as alimony claim attorneys to negotiate the ruling that is most fair and the one you need.
Alimony – What Is It?
Alimony is also often referred to as spousal maintenance or support. It comes from a series of laws designed to ensure people involved in the termination of a divorce are taken care of financially, especially the dependent spouse. The idea is to support spouses who either never worked or left work to do things like sustain the household or raise children.
Oklahoma Alimony Law
There are two types of alimony in Oklahoma: temporary and permanent. Temporary maintenance applies to the period between the filing and finalizing of the divorce, especially if the couple is living separately. Permanent is more a long-standing arrangement that kicks in after the divorce finalizes.
Oklahoma is different from many states when it comes to alimony. State law does not provide much explicit detail on how courts make determinations regarding alimony. As a result, much of the state’s legal system defaults to relying on common law in spousal support cases. More simply put, judges have a bit more free range to make determinations themselves than in other states.
Despite this, courts tend to hone in on one specific question: is a spouse involved in the divorce left with great financial need while the other has the capacity to support them?
When making determinations, judges examine a couple’s situation along a range of criteria. Common criteria include each individual’s:
- General health;
- Standard of living;
- Contributions to the marriage;
- Income and assets.
Alimony only ends when one of the two individuals dies or remarries. Alimony can continue after remarriage in some instances, however. These petitions must be submitted within 90 days with an argument that convinces the court that it would be fair to maintain the support after entering a new marriage.
You may modify alimony. Oklahoma law requires you to demonstrate substantial and continually changing circumstances to your situation(s) that indicate your initial award is no longer appropriate. A spousal support attorney from the Law Office of Carlos L. Williams is prepared to be your lawyer for negotiating alimony in these complicated cases.
Since Oklahoma is a fault divorce state, fault can impact your divorce case and child custody. However, it generally does not affect alimony. Alimony is determined independently of fault in divorce the vast majority of the time. As an example, if you initiate a divorce and are not at fault but are the income earner, you would have to pay alimony to your ex-spouse, who was at fault in the divorce case.
The duration in which you would be required to pay alimony is specific to your individual case. Some people pay permanent alimony out in a one-time lump sum, whereas others do over the course of years.
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Call us today to learn how we can help you further. One of our alimony lawyers will listen to your situation during your initial consultation and assemble a strategy that delivers the results you need in your case.
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