In an Alabama divorce, one spouse may be ordered by the court to pay alimony to the other. People just assume that this is paid by the husband to the wife. However, due to changes in the economy and individual households, there are more cases where women can be the paying spouse.

Alimony is typically granted by the court when one spouse earns far more than the other. In some cases, the alimony is ordered for a limited period of time so that the receiving spouse can “rehabilitate” and increase their own earning capacity by acquiring job skills. However, alimony can also be permanent depending on the circumstances.

In determining the alimony award, the court will look at a number of different factors. The judge may examine the duration of the marriage, the disparity in incomes between the spouses and the standard of living during the marriage. A court has wide discretion to look at other factors too. Payment of alimony is above and beyond what a spouse may be ordered to pay in child support.

While alimony still exists in society, fewer spouses are paying it these days because more households have two wage earners. Women are not viewed as dependent on men as they were in the past. There will still be alimony when the wages between the two spouses are highly disparate.

If a divorce case involves issues of alimony, there are higher financial stakes involved for both parties. For the party paying alimony, it could impose a high financial burden. Both spouses need to contact a spousal support attorney to advance their own side of the argument to the court. Many cases with alimony do not end up settling and will go all the way to a trial in court, heightening the need for legal counsel.