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Why would one seek alimony in a divorce?

A life change as big as a divorce can feel overwhelming upon first glance. While it's definitely not a decision to take lightly, it is also a decision that can be taken in steps. Addressing each issue that comes up with the process of divorce can make everything feel more manageable. One aspect that impacts some Bowie residents in a divorce is the issue of alimony.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a term given to the financial support one ex-spouse gives the other, as outlined in the divorce decree. Not all divorces will have a clause for alimony, as it is only assigned in certain situations. That situation would dictate that after a marriage has ended, it left an imbalance in financial capabilities and opportunities per the arrangement of the dissolved marriage. If one spouse forwent their career and financial opportunities while the other spouse was able to achieve in this area of their life, this is often a situation in which one person pays the other ex-spouse alimony.

Why is alimony assigned for this reason? It's because it's thought that after a marriage has ended that it leaves one spouse with the short end of the stick so to speak. Depending on the situation, alimony can be awarded for a set period of time or amount. It is a court-ordered payment that is expected to be honored by both parties. Not all spouses will encounter a divorce in which alimony is involved but for those that have financial imbalances it's often a part of the divorce decree.

Alimony can be noticeably polarizing. One spouse may be dead set on receiving alimony, while the other may insist that they won't contribute. However, these matters can and will be worked out. It's possible to give up certain assets in lieu of alimony but this won't always be enough. Keep in mind that one should have an open mind and be open, informed and communicative.

Source:, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed August 28, 2017

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