The Issue of Alimony after Divorce

Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Divorce

The Issue of Alimony after Divorce

Alimony or spousal support is one spouse’s lawful obligation to give monetary support to his/her former partner after separation or divorce. Formerly, spousal support consisted in the husband paying his former spouse. Modern day practice, however, has given way to gender parity, so that the support is now supposed to be provided by whoever has financial strength and stability. This payment is to make sure that the dependent spouse will continue to enjoy the standard of living that he/she enjoyed before the divorce. This is true, especially if one spouse gave up all chances for professional and economic growth for the sake of his/her partner and their family.

In the past, women were the usual recipients of alimony since it was them who were often required (under societal standards) to cease work and care for the home after marriage. Providing for her and for the rest of the family was, of course, the duty of her husband.

Life’s circumstances, however, have greatly changed, and two of these changes are, first, the greater opportunity of more women to land in higher paying jobs and, second, more men ending up without a job or with lower pay.

Alimony is a court-mandated monetary payment that one spouse should make to his/her former partner; it is also known under the names spousal support or spousal maintenance. When making decisions on the issue of alimony, courts usually consider the following factors:

  • earning capability of both spouses;
  • age and health of the spouses;
  • earned and potential income, and assets of both spouses; and,
  • duration of the marriage

An article found at www.themaynardlawfirm.com, says, “alimony will only be awarded under fairly specific circumstances that are associated with the financial circumstances of both former spouses following the divorce. When former spouses fail to provide the alimony they have been ordered to pay, they may be taken back to court to enforce the terms of their alimony agreement. Though it may be difficult to take your former spouse to court, this may be the only way to get the alimony payments that the court itself determined that you were in need of at the time of your divorce.

In the event that the financial circumstances of either former spouse changes after the divorce, it may be necessary to modify the spousal support obligation to reflect their new financial circumstances. In more practical terms, a spousal support obligation may be modified if certain things occur such as the receiving spouse getting remarried or getting a new job that pays enough income to adequately provide for their basic needs or if the paying spouse losses his or her job or is no long able to earn income for some reason.”

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Federal Protection for New York’s Same-Sex Couples

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Divorce

After the Marriage Equality Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in New York and which took effect on July 24, 2011, another occasion gave same-sex couples a reason to celebrate – the Supreme Court’s decision to quash section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA.

It was on June 26, 2013, when section 3 was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, stating that the section violated the Constitution’s due process principles and equal protection. DOMA’s defeat allows same-sex couples, whether married or just residing in New York, to file joint federal taxes, sponsor a spouse for immigration benefits and enjoy federal protection, such as veterans’ benefits and federal pensions, retirement savings, health insurance and Social Security.

Same-sex marriage began to be legalized in particular states from 2003 onward. This year, 2013, a total of 14 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the District of Columbia, recognize it. These 14 states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California and Hawaii (to take effect December 2, 2013). Despite the legalization, the Supreme Court maintained to uphold the right of any state or territory to deny recognizing the marital union of same sex-couples.

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Determining Child Custody in Texas

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Child Custody, Divorce

Any divorce lawyer would agree that child custody is one of the trickier aspects of a divorce agreement. There are physical, emotional and financial considerations that must be weighed before a decision can be reached that will alleviate some of the stress of divorce. An article on the BB Law Group PLLC website points out it is important that a divorcing couple is fully aware of their legal options when it comes to child custody to reach a fair agreement for all concerned parties.

In Texas, custody is referred to as conservatorship, and the parent who is granted partial or full physical and legal custody of a child is called a conservator. The main thrust of the laws ruling child custody matters is that it is compatible with the best interests of the child or children. In some instances, the child would have a better idea of what this constitutes than anyone else.

This is one of the interesting things about Texas family law, that a child of 12 or more may be consulted about the physical conservatorship; typically, the parent who remains in the vicinity of the familial home may be awarded physical conservatorship, but not always. If the child prefers to live with the away parent all or for most of the time for whatever reason, it will be considered by the court.

In some instances, the court may partially or fully withhold the right of the non-conservator parent to have visitation rights. This includes evidence of domestic violence or child abuse by one parent. Moreover, while joint conservatorship may be desirable and granted by the court, this does not mean equal time with the child. The time actually spent with the child will vary depending on what the court determines to be “significant periods” and “frequent and continuous contact.”  With proper legal representation, all the child custody concerns and issues confronting divorcing or divorced parents can be properly addressed and presented in court.

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