Information About Divorce Alimony

By Staff Writer

In divorce, alimony used to be the norm. Divorced women were expected to be the primary custodial parent, and were supported by the former husband and father long after the separation was final. Nowadays, alimony is gender neutral.

Divorce Alimony is seen now by most states as largely rehabilitative. In other words, alimony serves primarily to support a spouse until that individual can get the training, education or opportunity to earn their own living. Alimony also supports the stay-at-home caregiver, but usually only until the children are old enough so that he or she can join the work force again.

Divorce Alimony Law
Alimony laws vary widely from state to state. There are no formulas for amounts of alimony similar to the standardized formulas for child support. Some states are liberal with alimony; other states hardly ever award it, or only under extreme circumstances. Until 1995, Texas had no provision for alimony other than temporary spousal support that would end when the divorce was granted. Alimony in Texas is now provided for only in cases of extreme need.

Alimony, unlike child support, is not enforceable by law. In other words, if your ex is not living up to his or her alimony obligations, the only way you can force them to pay up under the law is if you petition the court to hold your spouse in contempt. Your ex-spouse can then be sent to jail. However, this is not true in all states. In some states, you are regarded as just another creditor seeking relief from a debtor. If the state has strong debtor protection laws, you may never see your money.