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Alimony basics: From the purpose to the payment

When a married couple moves forward with divorce, one partner may be put at a financial disadvantage. In this case, it is not uncommon for the court to require the other party to pay this person alimony.

Just because a couple splits does not mean one person will necessarily owe alimony. This is based on many factors, such as if one person chose to forgo a career to raise their children.

Here is one of the biggest questions that will come about with respect to alimony: How is the amount determined? There is no cut and dry answer to this question, as it is based on a variety of factors such as:

-- The age, physical state, and financial condition of the spouses

-- The length of time the alimony recipient will need to reach self-sufficiency

-- The length of the marriage

-- The standard of living while the couple was married

-- The financial ability of the paying spouse to support the recipient

Some people are required to pay alimony for an extended period of time, while others are not. This is considered a rehabilitative payment, meaning that it is only necessary until the recipient is able to become self-supporting.

If you are going through divorce, don't automatically assume that alimony won't come into question. There is a chance that one party will have to pay this for some period of time.

It doesn't matter what side you are on, paying or receiving alimony, you need to understand what the court in Texas looks at when making a decision on this detail.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed Feb. 10, 2016

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