Alimony is an amount of money that one spouse must provide to the other after a divorce and is specifically designed to help an individual transition from a marriage to becoming financially independent. When a couple divorces, a court in Alabama awards alimony to one party to support that party’s reasonable needs.
A party is determined to be in need of alimony based upon financial records that demonstrate the spouse cannot afford a reasonable cost of living based on their income. In determining whether to award alimony and the exact amount that should be awarded to a dependent individual, courts of law analyze many factors including marital misconduct.
If a court in Alabama learns that either spouse committed adultery during the course of the marriage and prior to the separation, a court is unlikely to award alimony. In cases where the supporting spouse cheated, a court will still determine how much money a spouse has left over each month after paying to reasonable bills.
In other situations where both spouses have cheated on each other during the course of the marriage, a court has some discretion in deciding how to award alimony based upon the circumstances. Courts in the state of Alabama are particularly likely to consider a spouse’s adultery when the adultery impacts the marital finances.
Courts analyze other factors in addition to extra-marital relationships when considering marital misconduct that affects alimony. Other situations that courts include in determinations of marital misconduct include abandonment of the other spouse, excessive use of alcohol or drugs by one spouse that created a substantial burden for the other spouse, criminal acts that led to the couple’s separation, cruel or barbarous treatment that endangered the life of the other spouse, indignities that rendered the condition of the other spouse intolerable, reckless spending of either party’s income, or the destruction of waste of either party’s assets.
In some situations, courts in Alabama might even review incidents that occurred after the couple separated if these events help determine events that happened during the course of the marriage. In analyzing these various factors, courts in Alabama determine what each party did and the length of time during which the acts were committed.
Special note should be made that many of the types of marital misconduct that influence alimony determinations also influence court’s decisions regarding custody. One of the most influential of these factors is whether a spouse has an active alcohol or drug addiction, which can greatly influence a court’s decision of whether a child is safe and subsequently can greatly influence issues of custody determination.
If you are involved in a divorce that involves alimony, contacting an experienced attorney at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC who will be able to help navigate the various issues that might arise concerning alimony and reach the best possible results.
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