Depending on various aspects of your marriage, you may qualify to receive alimony payments from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, there are three types of alimony you may be eligible for and, you may be given a choice about which to receive. Here's more information about each type to help you determine the option that's best for you.
This type of alimony is just as it sounds. Instead of monthly payments, you receive a large sum of money upfront when your divorce case settles. This type of alimony is great because it can provide you with the money you need to start over somewhere else. Additionally, you won't have to worry that your ex will suddenly stop paying due to a change in his or her financial circumstances.
However, alimony is taxable, and you will typically have to pay taxes on the entire amount in the year that you receive it. Additionally, you will typically be barred from asking for more money in the future, something that can be done if you opt for monthly payments.
This is the more common type of alimony and is typically paid to spouses who need help getting back on their feet after the marriage. You generally will only receive it for as long as the judge determines how long it will take for you to restore your independency.
Receiving monthly payments is a good option because it can provide you with a reliable source of monthly income, something you'll need when applying for places to live and establishing credit in your name. As noted previously, you can petition the court to extend the amount of time your ex must pay alimony if you're unable to become financially independent by the time the original order expires.
The biggest drawback to receiving monthly payments, though, is it depends on your ex's financial situation. If your ex loses his or her source of income or just don't want to pay anymore, you'll be stuck with no money and the frustration of trying to collect.
This third type of alimony is somewhat rare and only awarded in cases where the couple was married for a long time and one spouse was unable to develop any skills or resources to become self-sufficient. Unless or until modified by the court, the recipient will receive these payments for the rest of his or her life.
Permanent alimony suffers from the same drawbacks as rehabilitative alimony in that you'll only receive these payments for as long as your ex has the ability to make them. Additionally, if you get remarried or obtain a job making enough money to support yourself, your ex can petition the court to end the alimony payments.
For more information about these alimony types or assistance with negotiating the amount you receive from your ex, contact a divorce attorney, such as from Franklin & Rapp.