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Can I Request Alimony After Divorce Proceedings are Complete?
If you’re thinking of a divorce, you might have questions about alimony. If you don’t have a good Miami divorce attorney you’ve come to the right place for advice. If you are wondering whether you qualify to receive alimony or you have to pay for this type of support, then the answer is yes. However, alimony issues are usually determined before the divorce is finalized. Still, in some cases, it can be awarded after the divorce is finalized. In this situation, a judge will review the divorce decree to see if alimony was or needs to be addressed.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is not something that is automatically set when there is a divorce. It isn’t a condition required for every divorce. This award needs to be requested by the spouse with the financial need. The judge will then determine whether an alimony award is appropriate. In these cases, the higher-earning spouse may need to pay alimony for several years, if not permanently.
Some States use different terms for this financial award. They may define it as spousal support or maintenance. Whichever definition your State uses, alimony involves making a monthly payment of one spouse to another. This financial payment may be permanent or temporary, depending on the outcome of the divorce.
The purpose of alimony payments is to equalize the family finances so that the spouse who earns less is not left out in the cold. A judge usually assesses whether one of the spouses has a demonstrated financial need and whether the other spouse can pay.
How Alimony is Awarded?
Alimony is generally awarded in cases where one of the spouses has an unequal earning power to the other, especially in marriages that have been together for a long time. A judge is unlikely to award alimony if the couple has only been married for a short time.
In most cases, the issue of alimony is worked out before the divorce is finalized. However, there are times when, after a divorce, one of the spouses find themselves in need of financial support.
It often happens when the divorce is completed too impulsively or when one of the spouses is under significant stress. When this occurs, the issue of alimony needs to be revisited, even when the divorce has finalized. The person seeking alimony will have to show the change in their financial circumstances to get a court to review the finalized divorce’s alimony issue.
However, it is essential to know that a judge rarely changes an existing alimony agreement. But if there was no agreement made, the court can review the finalized divorce, check each spouse’s financial capacity, and determine his/her ability to pay.
Some years ago, when men were the primary breadwinners and women stayed at home to rear children, permanent alimony was common. Today, most men and women work, so the court awards alimony on a more temporary basis, just until the spouse finds time to support themselves.
If the divorce is finalized and one of the needing spouses does not already receive alimony, he/she may be eligible if he/she finds himself in need of financial support. In this case, a court may decide to review the issue. However, the spouse requesting the alimony needs to show a change for the worse in their financial circumstances. Reasons for this need could be a loss of employment, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.
The best thing you can do if you find yourself in extenuating circumstances, and your divorce did not make an alimony request is to get in touch with a reliable Miami alimony lawyer to assist you in your case.