The Granting of Alimony
Alimony can be a bitter subject between divorcing spouses in Muskogee, Oklahoma. All too often, anger gets in the way of determining whether alimony is needed or appropriate for the other spouse.
There are times when it can be helpful in the long run. This is true especially when one spouse has taken time away from the workplace to raise children. Allowing that spouse to upgrade their skills via alimony for a period of time can actually help every member of the family.
Here are some things about alimony that you might want to know.
Alimony payments, including their modification, are governed by statute in Oklahoma. Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 134
Oklahoma has alimony guidelines which govern the granting of alimony to a spouse at divorce.
There is no strict calculation for the granting of alimony. Instead, a judge will look at each situation individually to determine if alimony should be awarded, how much alimony should be awarded, and for how long.
In making that determination, a judge looks at such factors as the length of the marriage, the needs of each spouse, the lifestyles to which the spouses had become accustomed during the marriage, and the ability of each spouse to support themselves. These factors are balanced against the ability of the other spouse to pay alimony.
Often there is need, but insufficient ability to pay. In that case, a court is less likely to grant alimony or will grant it for as short a period possible in order to allow the receiving spouse to get back on their feet.
Types of Alimony
Alimony is sometimes confused with property division. Sometimes part of the marital property is used to pay alimony. However, the two are different.
Part of the property division may be paid monthly, but property division payments are not considered to be alimony and are not subject to modification. Alimony may be paid out from income or other assets, either paid in a lump sum or in installments.
Alimony Modification in Muskogee
Alimony can be reduced or terminated over time. Oklahoma law specifies that alimony payments end when the receiving spouse either dies or gets remarried. If you find out that your ex has remarried, you should immediately bring a motion before the court to terminate alimony.
The court will likely find in your favor unless your ex can show that some amount of support is still needed and that circumstances have not rendered alimony payments to be inequitable. Your ex must make that showing to the court within 90 days of the remarriage.
Likewise, if your ex is cohabitating with a person of the opposite sex in a private conjugal relationship, you can seek a modification of the alimony order if there is proof of a substantial change in circumstances related to the need for support. This is done in a motion before the court.
The court will then determine if the cohabitation has produced a favorable impact on your ex’s financial condition. If there is a substantial favorable impact, the court will likely modify alimony.
In all cases, when a modification is being sought, it must be done by motion before the court. In all of these cases, an attorney can help.
Recent Tax Changes
Recent federal tax changes are affecting alimony in all divorce and legal separation decrees entered into after December 31, 2018. Alimony is no longer a deductible expense by the payor and is income to the recipient. These changes may be important in settlement negotiations.
Alimony is an area of the law that is bound by the facts of each case. Each case is different, and an experienced alimony attorney can really help you get what you need.
Confidential Consultation: Muskogee Alimony Attorney
A Muskogee alimony attorney can help you understand the law and how it applies to your particular situation. Call us today at 918-884-7774.